Everyone is leading a busy life, yet countless people take their time out for community service. Supporting the local community helps the receiver and brings about a host of benefits to the giver too.
Giving back to society is something that all of us can and should do. Not only do they lend a helping hand in terms of giving time, learning or teaching a new skill, or donating money, but they also help one to get emotional satisfaction.
The act of charity or supporting individual and community projects can be done in multiple ways. In this article, we will discuss five ways to take part in community service.
Become a volunteer
Participating as a volunteer in a community project is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Every state, city, or locality globally has community projects. They give ample volunteering opportunities for one to step forward and contribute. People look for a cause that is dear to their hearts and appeals to them to become volunteers. And this is also true for people located in a specific area or city, such as Tommy Kane in Chicago.
For many, what started as a social activity, later became a career. The advantages of volunteering help meet people from all walks of life, and share activities, forge new bonds and friendships. This is particularly useful if someone is new to that locality. Volunteering helps in improving social skills through shared activities, especially if one is an introvert or shy.
There are plenty of charitable activities one can do as a volunteer. From visiting schools, hospitals, and old age homes, one can contribute in a meaningful manner. If one is not sure where to go, then searching online also helps and provides useful information. Some of the ways one can contribute are
- Becoming a mentor to a deserving young person in your neighborhood and guiding them through one’s experience.
- Getting attached to a school in any capacity, as a volunteer, or in alumni associations.
- Visiting the sick at home or in hospitals.
- Get attached to conservation projects such as planting trees, gardening, and raising environmental awareness through roadshows.
Support local community business
With big corporations and multinationals diversifying into a retail business, it is becoming increasingly difficult for small businesses and local traders to compete. The MNC and big players play on the scalability part, and their financial muscle power allows them to sell retail products at a lower price than small shopkeepers.
The best way to help the community is to help their business to survive and grow. Purchasing stuff from them is one way of helping. Another way would be to follow them on social media and spread word of mouth about their excellent services and great prices. Post the Pandemic, it is even more important to support them as they have suffered the most due to lockdown.
Cleaning the locality
A common activity seen as part of community service is cleaning the localities. Volunteers in groups usually indulge in weekly cleaning by picking litters, installing public dustbins, raising awareness programs on cleanliness, gardening, and planting trees. There may also be other issues that affect a locality, such as graffiti on walls, potholes, abandoned cars on the streets. One can report to the local authorities for taking remedial action. These activities make the localities a better place to live in. One can always start this service with their contacts and identify activities and areas to implement.
Helping the neighbors
Community service starts with neighbors and everyone around in the locality. Many people suffer from financial and health problems. Others suffer from loneliness, especially older people, which leads to depression and other psychological issues. This kind of situation is a silent killer as people commit suicide or develop life-threatening diseases.
As a volunteer, one can take out time, meet the neighbors, and see if any help is required. It can range from helping them plan small homework, shopping or running short errands, or even having a chat for them. Even a smile at neighbors is a form of charity. These little bits of help may take only a fraction of one’s time but may mean a lot to the receivers.
And with more people working from home, finding the time to help others is now more of an option than ever before. This is something that was recently highlighted in an article from Thomas Kane.
One can donate and share in so many ways like things, money and time, and a bit of oneself. We all have excess food, clothing, and other household items we do not need. Consider giving them to charities so that the not-so-fortunate and needy can make fair use of them. Many charity foundations even collect these items and for free and raise funds by selling them in the market. This money then goes into causes such as free medical treatments or education.
The concept of food banks has grown immensely. People have become more aware of wasting food or throwing away leftovers. Many charities have weekly food distribution programs for the poor, while in times of calamities, natural disasters, or any other emergencies, food parcels are mobilized and distributed to the affected areas and people. As a student, a corporate worker, or people in business, one can start their own food banks on a small scale and help the poor in their localities.
When it comes to donating money, one can give small charities regularly in their individual capacity. If one can donate through a local charity trust or organization so as to channelize the money more effectively. It is also advisable to personally visit those charities and check their activities details. If possible, become a member, watch your contributions, and mobilize more funds from friends and relatives.
Helping the community is good for oneself and those people around them. Just giving back to society at large and local communities without any motive can be spiritually up lifting. On personal gains, it helps one to connect with others, makes one happy and energized. Doing good also gives a sense of purpose to older volunteers who are lonely and retired and looking for meaningful engagement.
Finally, work only in those causes close to one’s heart or have the desired skill set. This is necessary to be involved in the long run. Otherwise, the enthusiasm may wane after some time and cause one to withdraw from community service.