They often say ‘what goes around comes around’ and I couldn’t agree with that statement more. It’s no secret that the vibe you put out into the universe is the vibe you attract. People who do good things receive good in return. But, that shouldn’t be the sole reason for getting out there and doing something good. The sheer reward from wanting to help, enlighten and improve something or someone should be enough of an incentive to change up your habits and learn to give back. This is why I’ve compiled 10 easy ways you can give back to your community if you’re looking to give back just a little bit more.
What Motivates You
Perhaps you made it your new years resolution. Perhaps you noticed giving back was a quality you seemed to lack. Maybe you see others around you taking the time to make a change and do something that benefits more than them, and you want in.
Whatever your motivation is, it has to come from within. Me writing this post and you feeling obligated to do something good for someone else is not going to benefit you or them. The desire has to come from within, and you may need to do a little soul searching to figure out your why.
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Some Questions to Ask Yourself
If you feel like you want to do something that’s bigger than you, but don’t know where to start, here are some questions to uncover where your interests may lie:
1. What am I most passionate about? (feel free to jot down a few ideas)
2. Is there a way to turn something I’m passionate about into an opportunity to help someone else?
3. By what means can I give myself to helping someone else. Is it time? Expertise? Money? Items?
4. What means of giving to others least appeals to me? (There’s no sense in doing something you won’t love)
Uncovering Your Purpose
Once you’ve figured out where it is you want to put yourself to make a difference, it becomes easier to find tasks that align with your values. As great as it is to participate in something regardless of the cause, at the end of the day if you’re not truly passionate about the work you’re doing or the population you’re serving, it will eventually be reflected (and you may find yourself dreading the idea of participating).
10 Easy Ways You Can Give Back to Your Community
Below you’ll find my list of 10 easy ways you can give back to your community. Even if one of these doesn’t speak to you, hopefully you will be inspired to search for something that aligns closer to your values!
1. Donate to a Charity
Simple enough right? Probably the easiest and least time consuming on the list, but still an opportunity to give back. Bonus points for if you find a local charity or cause you can give to to be able to circulate those funds back into the community. Do a little research and make a donation that’s based on your budget and get started today! Often times charities will send out newsletters to those who donate regularly to keep you updated on where your money is going to help, and allow you to see how you’re making a difference!
2. Donate Items You No Longer Need
Donating items you no longer need or use can be an excellent way to clean out your house and help someone else. The trick to making sure you’re items really go further is to determine the need for what you’re donating. This goes beyond simply donating to a thrift store and calling it a day. I challenge you to call around to local women’s shelters, homeless shelters and charities and ask them what they’re looking for. Not only will this ensure your items don’t sit collecting dust in a thrift store, but instead go to someone who’s actually looking for those types of items!
3. Give Your time
Time is the most precious resource we can offer. When you give someone your time, it shows you really value the desire to make a difference. Take a look around your community and see what places are looking for volunteers. If you can give a few hours every week or bi-weekly, that may make the world of difference to those you’re assisting.
Some ideas are volunteering at your local hospital, animal shelter, homeless shelter, charity, community centre, etc. Throughout my university experience I volunteered at our local hospital and gained many valuable lessons and chances to connect with people I otherwise wouldn’t have! I promise you that you won’t regret giving your time!
4. Shop Local
Although it may not strike you as directly giving back to your community, shopping local is a great way to put money into your local economy. Every time you make a purchase at a big-box store, that money is siphoned away from your community. By shopping local, you’re allowing local shop owners and farmers to continue to produce, provide and flourish within the community. Visit your local stores and farmer’s markets first before heading into big-box stores!
5. Pick Up Trash
Never a bad idea! Picking up trash in areas around your community is always a step in the right direction to helping the environment, and overall appearance of the community. When others see people taking pride in their community, they’re more likely to do the same as well! Picking up trash doesn’t have to be a day long event, it can be as simple as bringing a grocery bag with you and filling it with trash you find while out on a walk!
6. Help a Neighbour
There is likely someone in your area who needs help, whether it’s taking care of their property, child minding, dog walking or maybe even driving them to an appointment. Spend time helping out a fellow neighbour who can really benefit from the help!
7. Participate in Something Within Your Community
Volunteer to teach a local sports team, join a neighbourhood watch, or get a group of local dog owners together and bond! There are so many great things you can do within your neighbourhoods and communities to create unity, and in turn, give back. You may be surprised how many things you can do within a 5 mile radius of your house! I challenge you to get out today and look for something new to get involved in!
8. Donate Blood
The need for blood never ceases, and the demand only ever increases. If you can and are able to, I recommend donating blood today! You will undoubtedly help save a life, and will keep the supply healthy. You never know when you need blood, and it’s comforting to think others would be willing to do the same for you if the time came!
9. Choose Household Products Consciously
When we purchase products for our homes, we indirectly effect those around us. Choosing more health-conscious, environmentally friendly products to use outside our homes will not only create a healthier environment for ourselves, but for others who live around us! Choosing products with more natural ingredients, avoiding heavy duty pesticides, and creating a greener atmosphere around our homes makes for a healthier neighbourhood as a whole!
10. Get Involved in Making Food Accessible
The need for food often extends beyond the holidays, but receives less attention than it does around them. Holiday food drives are a great way to rev up interest, but more conscious efforts need to be made throughout the year! If you can and are able to, donate to your local food bank or donation bin set up at the grocery store! It doesn’t have to be hundreds of dollars worth of groceries, but picking up an extra can of soup or box of pasta can make a huge impact if everyone starts doing it!
When I used to work at a grocery store, one customer saved up all of her store loyalty points and would spend them on food she would then take to the food bank! Again, small gestures make a world of difference, and you don’t have to shell out hundreds. Simply making an effort is a step in the right direction!
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Giving back is an excellent way to do something today for your community. If you read this list and still aren’t sure how you can give back in a way that resonates with you, simply ask! Asking around to local charities and community places is an excellent way to get involved, and see what the needs are!
I hope this inspired you to do something in your communities today! If you already give back, let me know what you do below!