Many a newscast includes a brief story of some bright-eyed individual who found a unique way to make their particular corner of the world a better place. Whether the person is young or young at heart, they’re often an inspiration that makes viewers think about what they could be doing with their own time, talents, and resources. Are you wondering how to give back to your community? The opportunities are incredible.
How to Give Back to Your Community
When you’re trying to decide how to give back to your community, take a moment to take stock. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to matter. Small things can make a major difference. Think about what skills or resources are available to you. Consider what causes are important to you. Then, think about how you can use what you have to help the people, places, and things in your community that you care about. Keep reading to discover a few examples that might inspire you.
Give a Cash Donation
It’s predictable, quick, and easy, and no list of how to give back to your community would be complete without it. If your budget allows, giving a monetary donation lets organizations within your community purchase needed supplies, pay personnel, and meet basic obligations so that they can continue their mission to serve the community. However, giving cash is just one way to give back.
Build Lending Libraries
If you’re a talented woodworker, building the small cabinets that serve as lending libraries can be an excellent way to help out. When it’s completed, the cabinet is placed somewhere accessible, with the owner’s permission. Then, a selection of books is placed inside for people to take from and replace, as desired. They’re often stocked with children’s books in the summer to encourage vacation reading.
Be a Virtual Tutor
Are you good at math or reading? Can you paint, draw, or decorate a cake? If you’re willing to teach online, you could help someone as a virtual tutor. What if you don’t feel comfortable teaching? Listening or talking may be enough. Younger students who need to practice their reading are delighted to have a supportive audience ready to cheer them on. Meanwhile, people who are learning English are often eager to hone their skills by talking with a native speaker.
Donate to a Food Pantry
Did you find a dozen cans of green beans, 14 cans of blacked-eyed peas, and 17 cans of diced pineapple when you inventoried your pantry? When your canned food collection is in need of a good clearing out, donating to the food pantry can benefit both your diet and your community. You can also make a habit of picking up a few extra nonperishables at the grocery store so that you can continue to donate.
Knit or Crochet Bibs or Lap Blankets for Seniors
If you love to knit or crochet but hate finding new destinations around the house for your projects, consider reaching out to your local assisted living and memory care communities or nursing homes. Many senior living communities love to give their residents lap blankets and bibs to save their clothes during meal times, and they welcome the donation of quality handmade items from crafters who knit and crochet. These projects are easy and quick to do, and they use a relatively small amount of yarn, so they’re a great way to use up some of your stash of scrap yarn. If you prefer larger projects, reach out to churches in your area. Many have prayer shawl ministries that collect handmade shawls for patients facing major medical troubles.
Donate Supplies to an Animal Shelter
Have you noticed that some of your sheets, blankets, or towels are getting a little shabby? If you’re replacing them, don’t throw the old ones away. Animal shelters will cheerfully accept used bedding or towels. The materials come in handy as they attend to the needs of the dogs, cats, and other critters in their care.
Send Care Packages to the Troops
Sending care packages to the troops is a time-honored way of giving back to those who make sacrifices to keep everyone here at home safe. Include items like nonperishable food, familiar toiletries, books and puzzles, and a note thanking them for their service. Check out charities like USO Wishbook and Operation Gratitude to learn more.
Giving back to your community is easy. It can also help you to recognize that you’re a part of something special. How will you give back?
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