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Group of volunteers cleaning up neighborhood

14 Ways to Get More Involved in Your Community

Looking for ways you can get more involved in your community? From neighborhood cleanups and carpools to supporting local schools and businesses, here are 14 ideas you can use to give back to your community!

Organize a Community Cleanup

Gather a few folks from your neighborhood, your church, your office, or even just your family and spend an hour tidying up a small area of your city! Putting together this type of volunteer project brings like-minded people together and allows people to give back to their community.

Help Out the Elderly

Chatting and playing board games with local nursing home residents or leading a fitness class at a long-term care facility are great ideas for getting involved with seniors. In addition, meal delivery organizations and senior transportation services often seek help to fulfill the needs of seniors who live independently but require assistance in specific areas.

Join a Mentor Program

If you’re interested in giving back to your community, one of the best ways to do so is by participating in a mentorship program. Regardless of your community’s size or economic situation, investing in children, teens, and young adults in the area can have widespread positive effects. Not only will you be helping shape a child’s life positively, but it can also be a personally rewarding experience.

Shop Your Local Businesses

Skip the big box stores! Shopping locally is one of the easiest ways to help your community. By supporting a small business owner in your area, you make it easier for local businesses to maintain their properties and help support your community’s economic stability and growth.

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Cast Your Vote

People standing in line at voting building. Photo by Instagram user @bhamnow

Photo via @bhamnow

Show your community involvement by being present on election days—especially for your local elections! No matter who you support, cast your vote and show you care about local politics, events, and important issues. You may even find others who share your interests and can help facilitate change in community matters.

Support Local Schools

Getting involved in your community can be as simple as working with local schools. Ask if they need volunteers for an after-school reading program, athletic events, or even help with crosswalks. When school budgets are stretched to the max, donating your time can help ease the burden of figuring out additional funding, and it’s a fantastic way to show that you care about the safety and development of students in your area.

Donate Household Items

Old clothes folded on floor. Photo by Instagram user @davegregor2018

Photo via @davegregor2018

Don’t have enough time to volunteer? Simply donate household items! Take used furniture to donation centers instead of the dump. Sort through your closet and donate clothing, coats, shoes, and bags to those in need. Check online to see what items you can buy for local food pantries and homeless shelters. Or fulfill an animal shelter’s wish list by donating towels, unused pet supplies, and more!

Fight for a Cause

What causes are important to you? Show your support by participating in local charity events, such as 5k runs or drives that collect food, books, clothing, diapers, and more for those in need. If you can’t find an event that supports a specific cause, take charge and organize an event yourself!

Attend Local Events

Girls waving red flags in parade. Photo by Instagram user @cap_one60

Photo via @cap_one60

Sometimes, just being present is what your community needs. Providing your support for local sports teams, theatre performances, and other community events shows your willingness to help out the community. Besides enjoying whatever event you go to, attending local events could lead to developing new friendships or other bonds within the community.

Get Certified for Disaster Relief

No matter where you live, there’s potential for disaster to strike. And while there are several emergency organizations designed to help with those sorts of events, being able  to immediately spring into action can have a large impact on your community. From becoming certified in First Aid to learning how to manage volunteer disaster relief, knowing how to respond in emergency situations is a unique way to help the community.

Volunteer at a Pet Shelter

Dog licking woman's face. Photo by Instagram user @venuskelly

Photo via @venuskelly

Animal shelters are often looking for volunteers to help out with animals in need. Start by checking online for local shelter volunteer needs, then make some phone calls to see where you can help out! Even if you’re only able to offer a few hours per week, these shelters need all the help they can get.

Help Out at a Local Hospital

Girls visiting little boy in hospital. Photo by Instagram user @loveyourmelon

Photo via @loveyourmelon

Sometimes, the best medicine is a warm smile or just someone to talk to. Spend some time volunteering at a local hospital. Whether it’s reading to a child, rocking newborns in the NICU, or visiting an elderly patient who doesn’t get many visitors, there are plenty of ways you can give back to those around you!

Set Up Carpools

Guy driving car. Photo by Instagram user @rydesharing

Photo via @rydesharing

Get to know those in your area by setting up neighborhood carpools! This can be beneficial for both neighbors who work in a similar area and even for parents whose kids attend the same nearby schools. Either way, this is both good for helping your community and the environment!

Establish a Neighborhood Watch

Group of people in yellow vest for neighborhood watch. Photo by Instagram user @lauraouthet

Photo via @lauraouthet

What better way to show community involvement than helping establish a safer area with a neighborhood watch? Registering is a five-step process that involves meeting with the local police department, holding community meetings, and forming an action plan. Giving residents a voice in regard to the safety of your city can help form a close-knit community!

Looking for more great ways you can give back? Check out these ideas for random acts of kindness you can use to pay it forward!

Giving Back: 14 Ways to Get More Involved in Your Community