Everyone has it in them to give something back and help those in need. The question is whether we muster the motivation to follow through.
Between raising a family, working a full-time job, and managing a household, there’s an assortment of reasons why we think we can’t extend ourselves further to help others. However, doing so is easier than most people think.
It starts with your local community. If everyone took a little bit of time to help others in their community, there would be less demand for institutional assistance and fewer reasons for people to struggle and suffer.
The following are six fundamental ways for individuals to help their local communities thrive and prosper:
Volunteer your time
A few hours of volunteering each week can make a tremendous amount of difference to those living in your community. The list of volunteer options is virtually endless, ranging from gardening to helping veterans. Since furry friends need help too, those with a fondness for dogs and cats can volunteer at local animal shelters. The choice is yours. All you need to do is schedule a time to get started.
While Facebook enables us to connect across the globe, Nextdoor helps us connect across the neighborhood. Users are tapped into the local community via social network, allowing them to stay on top of what’s happening in their own backyards no matter where they are or what they’re doing. It’s a great way to help the neighborhood as a whole rather than limit your awareness and engagement to a single block. What’s more, Nextdoor’s racism-education & prevention efforts allow users to report racial profiling. Doing so puts a stop to divisive posts and comments that alienate neighbors instead of uniting them.
Pick up litter
Do you enjoy going for morning or evening walks around the neighborhood? If so, consider bringing a trash picker and garbage bag once or twice a week to pick up any litter you come across. It’s one of the simplest yet most effective ways to improve your local community. It may also encourage others to do the same, leading to exponential beautification of the neighborhood.
Maintain your property
The value of a residential property is partly dependent on the value of others nearby. Therefore, taking proper care of your home is essential for maintaining the value of the neighborhood as a whole. Mow the lawn, clean the gutters, check for foundation cracks, and repair roofing before leaks develop. These and other basics of property maintenance – when done by everyone – is the best way to improve and protect the community.
Support local small businesses
After property maintenance, supporting local businesses is the second-most essential aspect of community enrichment. Instead of going to Starbucks, buy your coffee from a local cafe. Rather than dine at Red Lobster, find a fine dining establishment owned and operated by people in your community. Doing so keeps the money in the neighborhood, strengthening its economy rather than draining it.
Vote in local elections
Last but not least, those interested in helping their community need to participate in local elections. Sure, most people at least know when it’s time to vote for a new President of the United States, but when was the last time you cast your ballot for mayor, city council member, or treasurer? These and other local elected officials hold the keys to the kingdom in terms of enacting sweeping changes and upgrades needed for community improvements.
Most people want to help make the world a better place. However, few folks know where to begin. It turns out changing the world starts in your own backyard. By helping your local community, you make the most significant impact possible.