Being a part of a close-knit community is something that not everyone gets to feel in their lifetime. This is an unfortunate fact because having a close community can grant people a sense of purpose and belonging. Humans are social creatures, after all, and even the most introverted among us still need some form of community to make us feel welcome. Communities don’t materialize overnight; it takes a lot of work by every citizen to make it successful. Those who do make it work often find that the result was well worth the effort they put in. We wanted to give you a few ways to get involved with your community so that you, too, can feel the benefits of having such a closely tied group of people.
Volunteer Your Time
Your time is one of the most valuable things that you can give to someone else. In terms of your community, this can take many forms. What really matters is that you show up for something. Having a physical presence at an event or gathering is all that you really need to feel like part of the group, but be sure to look for other ways to help out. This is the first way to get involved with your community because it feeds into almost everything. Investing a little bit of time is all it takes to start feeling that community spirit.
Make Some Donations
Your community can only be as good as the effort everyone puts into it. Helping out the less fortunate members of your community is the perfect way to connect with people you wouldn’t have interacted with otherwise. There are lots of things you can donate, whether it be food for the hungry, clothes for the homeless, or books for students. A lot of charitable organizations look for people to donate home goods to help out those who can’t get those essential items themselves. Making these types of donations are an especially great way to get involved in your community if you don’t have a lot of free time to help in person.
Join a Local Group or Class
Although many of our interactions are taking place online nowadays, there are still plenty of opportunities to meet people virtually. One of the best ways to find people in your community with similar interests is to join a group or take a class online. These special interest groups could revolve around cooking, board gaming, painting, exercise, or any number of other things that bring people together. You’ll really get to know some of your fellow community members, and since you all are in the same group, you already have a shared interest to keep you together.
Tutor a Child
If you’re the academic sort, helping out by teaching during off-hours can be a huge boon to the children who need it. Whether school is online or even on a break, kids still need assistance when it comes to certain subjects, and you can be the one to help them. You can easily do this by calling your local schools and asking if they need any help. Most schools will be glad for it, and you’ll have ingratiated yourself with the youth (and parents) of your community. Helping guide children to a better future is a great way to feel connected to other people in your neighborhood.
Clean Up Your Neighborhood
It’s an unfortunate truth that our communities need regular cleanup. If you want to have a community you’re proud of, you’re not going to want to see trash all over the streets. Cleaning up your neighborhood can refer to anything from throwing away the odd piece of trash that you find littered around, all the way to organizing a highway cleanup event. There’s a special feeling that comes with looking at your community and being proud of what you see. Putting a little bit of effort and care into cleaning up can make all the difference.
Assist the Elderly Members of Your Community
Just like getting involved with the youth in your community, you should also remember your elders. While not all will need your assistance, there will be some who do, and they’ll be very appreciative that you’ve offered your time to help. Offer to mow their lawns, pick up groceries for them, or even just call and offer companionship. You can do this with the elderly who live on their own and those who live in your local assisted living community. No matter what their age is, every member of your community should feel equally cared for.
Whenever possible, try to remember to shop for things from your local mom-and-pop stores rather than the big chain stores. Not only is this a fantastic way to get to know your local business owners, but you also help keep those stores open and running. You don’t get that same community feel when the big box stores and chain restaurants start to come in. Do your part to prevent this homogenization by supporting your local stores and restaurants. If you think that you’re only one person and, therefore, it won’t help to shop there, you’re mistaken. Every bit of support helps to keep these places running, ensuring a strong community for everyone.
Vote in Local Elections
It’s not just a civic duty to vote in your local elections; it’s a great way to feel like your input has an effect on your community as a whole. Doing your research on candidates doesn’t take too long, and the effect that it could have on your community might be more than you realize. If you’ve never voted in a local election before, there are plenty of people who can help you out. These elections shape the future of your community, so don’t skip out on them because you think they’re unimportant.
GreenDrop supports anyone who wants to make a difference in their community because we care about ours. Our locations want to make the communities they serve better for everyone. If you have donations, such as clothes or home goods, don’t hesitate to come by one of our locations or schedule a donation pickup for an even simpler way to support your community.