This article was written by Jami de la Cruz, who writes for Personal Trainers.
If you really want to make a difference in your community, there are several ways you can do so. That way you will know what is going on, and if there are any issues, perhaps you can come up with a solution.
The opportunities to volunteer in your community can be varied. For example, you can volunteer to help at your house of worship, the community library, or at hospitals or nursing homes located in or near your community. All of these places need volunteers, and some of them rely very heavily on them to “take up the slack” when necessary.
For example, you can offer your services at your house of worship by helping seal, stamp, and address weekly or monthly mailings. You can also volunteer to assist at funeral luncheons or other functions held during the week.
The community library will welcome volunteers to re-stock shelves, assist patrons, and perform other duties. The hospitals and nursing homes will enjoy having someone to come in and assist with delivering mail or other items to patients, assisting with activities, or just keeping someone company.
Does your community have a neighborhood watch program? If not, and there have been incidences of break-ins, vandalism, or other criminal activities, why not organize one? The police department or sheriff’s department that serves your community will help you get one started.
2. Join a Board or Commission
Many communities have their own boards or commissions that work separately from or with local municipal and county ones. These can include beautification boards, library boards, and others. Vacancies may occur each year as a member’s term of service ends. When it gets close to time for terms to end, you can submit your application or letter of intent to fill the vacancy.
3. Support Your Schools
Join the PTA or PTSO, even if you don’t have children in school. Volunteer in the media center or in a teacher’s classroom. Offer to tutor or give additional help to students before or after school. Most degree programs need people to support their specialized tutoring, like in mathematics and design.
4. Vote on Issues That Directly Affect Your Community
Many times, tax issues or other ones may affect an entire municipality or even county or parish. When this is the case, it’s for sure your community will be affected in some way. Make sure to be well informed on the issue and vote. If you are against a particular issue or if you strongly support the issue, then consider volunteering to inform others about the issue and persuade them to also vote.
5. Support Your Community by Shopping at Local Businesses
Many communities have small business establishments that provide products or services. Unless it is absolutely necessary to go somewhere else, use those businesses first, especially family-owned or independent stores. Oftentimes the prices are comparable if not slightly cheaper than larger ones, anyway, so. Even if they’re higher, you may find the service there much more personalized, making it worth paying more.
These are only five ways you can support your community. There should be other opportunities available. Contact your community leaders, houses of worship, and others for ideas about giving back to that area you call home.