3 Creative Ways to Give Back to Your Community

3 Creative Ways to Give Back to Your Community

Here are three ways to help out in your hometown (and feel great while you’re doing it!).

With everything on your plate, it’s hard to find time to volunteer, but the satisfaction you’ll feel from helping others or improving your community is well worth it. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Organize a Rummage Sale
Got a basement full of stuff you no longer use, or drawers full of clothes your kids have outgrown? Chances are your neighbours do, too. One way to clean house and help your community is to organize a town rummage sale. Start by corralling a small committee of dedicated people who can handle the logistics and decide where the proceeds will go: Does the playground need new nets for the basketball hoops? How about planting a community vegetable garden?

A couple of planning tips: When considering your event location, be sure to include funding for a tent if the site is outdoors (no one likes a soggy sale). Pick a date no later than three days ahead of time when folks can drop off their ”treasures,” and make sure people know that donations should be in good condition. Price your items to move to minimize haggling and maximize sales.

And of course, get the word out. Publicize your event with posters in town, advertise in the local paper, and talk it up everywhere you go.

There are a zillion volunteer opportunities to be had in your community, so you may be wondering which one is right for you. Perhaps you want to be more hands-on at your child’s school or help at the local animal shelter. Could you tutor a child learning how to read?


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Become a Member

Are you good with older people or concerned that a local landmark is about to be torn down? You get the idea — decide what’s important to you, and then find a place to make a difference.

For example, try joining your town’s preservation society or offer your business knowledge through the chamber of commerce. You can make a real impact at the senior center or homeless shelter. Or, if you just want to share your talents with the world, try volunteering to teach a class on healthy cooking. Community centers are a great place to start. And if a class doesn’t exist, pitch your idea!

Do a “Thon”
Doing a walk-a-thon, bike-a-thon or any “a-thon” is not only a fun way to raise money for a good cause, it’s also an excellent way to raise awareness about serious issues.

So how do you start? First look close to home — is there a local cause that needs publicity and funds? It’ll take plenty of work and organization but gather like-minded helpers to help organize a fun “thon.” Start small, and remember: The first time out won’t be perfect. Your efforts, however, will be hugely appreciated.

Another option: Find a cause you feel is worthy and join the local chapter. Lots of national organizations sponsor runs and walks and have websites on which participants can set up their own page for donors to contribute. Find a “thon” happening near you, sign up and start making a difference that way.

If you’re truly dedicated to doing good and finding a way to help people, the opportunities are almost endless. From simply volunteering your services to neighbours to organizing a huge event, it always feels good to do the right thing!

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