10 Ways to help your community in 30 minutes or less

Written by Hilary Hamblin

volun-10From waking up early to put in a first load of laundry to working all day and driving the mom taxi all afternoon, most women have little time to think about volunteering for community projects. But busy schedules do not mean we have to write off community involvement completely. In thirty minutes or less, anyone can make a difference in the community.

Check out the following ideas for ways to help your community in the midst of your everyday activities.

  1. Take a garbage bag while walking through the neighborhood. Pick up any litter along the way. As a by-product, you can get some exercise built into your day.
  2. Shop with locally owned businesses, saving time and money. Many locally owned businesses offer services like free gift-wrapping and delivery. And a percentage of your sales taxes go directly to the local community.
  3. Find positive aspects of your community share with other people. A positive image encourages residents to shop locally, increases the chance new businesses will open in the area and promotes growth.
  4. Attend a local festival or other event. Many have free admission and activities. Most festivals are actually fundraisers for non-profit organizations who make their money through sponsorships. Since sponsors look at attendance numbers to decide how much to give, your family can add to the number and help increase what businesses give next year.
  5. Write a letter to local elected officials encouraging them for making good decisions for the community. People work harder when they know they are appreciated. And elected officials seldom hear enough encouraging words.
  6. Put a potted plant on your front porch. When your home looks spruced up, it makes the whole neighborhood and the community to look better as well.
  7. Take left over dinner to an elderly neighbor. If you have a family of four, cook enough dinner for five one night and deliver a plate to the widow next door. Your delivery helps you to get to know your neighbors better. And police promote knowing your neighbors as the best way to fight neighborhood crime.
  8. Look for opportunities to give in your community. Many schools collect items, such as like canned foods, old coats, toys and eyeglasses, for less fortunate families.
  9. Vote. While the Presidential election comes around only once every four years, elections happen every year. Check out the candidates for local and state elections.
  10. Encourage your employer to sponsor local events, join a civic organization or allow employees to volunteer during work hours. Many businesses have volunteer programs to reward employees for volunteering. Local news media often cover large volunteer events and having employee representation gives businesses extra publicity.

By doing our part to contribute to the community, we add people to our circle of influence and gain opportunities to build relationships with our neighbours. We also demonstrate what it means to be a good citizen to our children.

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