We all want to feel safe and happy in the neighborhood in which we live. And most of the time, there are some small things that we can do ourselves that will go a big way to help our local community. Ready to make a difference to the area where you live? Here are some great ideas to get you started.
- Volunteer to clean up some trash. Has your neighborhood been looking a bit worse for wear lately? If so, then you shouldn’t just sit around and watch it deteriorate. Get up off the sofa and take things into your own hands by voluntarily going around and cleaning up trash and litter. You might even want to see if some of your neighbors want to join you, and you could then start a monthly litter pick with everyone to ensure that your area stays spick and span!
- Give to a local charity. There will be lots of charities operating in your area, and each one will have a particular focus. For instance, there will be some that provide shelter for homeless people and others that work with children and the elderly. These charities will always welcome donations that can help them continue their good work, so it’s really worth giving what you can at any available opportunity.
- Get to know your neighbors. You will find that the more you get to know your neighbors, then the stronger your sense of community will be. So, if you don’t know your neighbors all that well, why not pop around and say hello. That will give you both the chance to introduce yourself to one another. You never know, you might become very firm friends!
- Volunteer at a local nursing home. Did you know that many elderly people suffer from loneliness? Even the ones that live at McKnight Place and other assisted-living centers. So, why not volunteer at a nursing home or assisted-living center? This then gives you the chance to do some good for your community, and it also means that the elderly people who you work with will have someone to chat with.
- Start a kid’s after-school club. Some neighborhoods have problems with children hanging around on the streets in the evenings. This can be made worse if the kids start to form gangs and act very antisocially. One way to get around this is to set up a youth club that the kids can go to on an evening. As long as the club runs lots of different activities, you will find that you can take a lot of the kids off the streets and doing much more useful things.
- Organize a fundraising event. If you have already donated to a local charity and want to help them further, you could always organize a fundraising event for them. There are various things you might like to do. If you don’t have too much money to put towards the event, you could keep it small by simply planning a cake sale at your work or your child’s school. If you want to pull out all the stops and organize a big event, how about a charity dinner or auction?
- Give food to a food bank. There will probably be a food bank operating in your local area. This will collect food and other household essentials to give to people who are struggling to get by on their small paychecks. Food banks rely on food and donations from the public, so it’s essential that you pass on anything to them if you can spare something. Even if it’s just a tin of bean!
- Support your local businesses. One of the main things that people complain about is their neighborhood being taken over by big chains and supermarkets. Want to prevent that in your area? If so, you should make the effort to shop at all the local businesses in your neighborhood. That way, they can continue to survive, even when faced with competition from large stores.
- Start a community project. Another way you can get everyone in your neighborhood together is to start a community project together. There are loads of different projects that you might want to consider. For instance, you could all come together to plant some more trees along a street to make it greener. Or, you could come together to establish a new community hub so that you have somewhere where you can hold meetings and other events.
- Donate supplies to a school. These days, some schools really struggle to find the money needed to buy essential supplies. These are often art, music, and other creative supplies. Even though they don’t like to ask parents to donate these kinds of supplies, they will never say no if you offer them something. So, you might want to see what you have lying around the house. Any spare pens, notepads, and old instruments will be happily received by your local school.
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Animal shelters do a lot of hard work in the community by looking after any stray dogs and cats that they find. Not only that, though, but most also take in any injured or sick wildlife and nurse them back to full health if possible. Animal shelters are always on the lookout for volunteers who can help them carry out their useful work. Even if you don’t have a few hours to spare each week, you might want to donate some cat or dog food next time you have any leftover.
- Do small jobs for elderly neighbors. Some of your elderly neighbors might not be able to do jobs around the house like they used to. For instance, household maintenance might become difficult for them, and they could struggle with other day to day jobs like cleaning and grocery shopping. It’s a good idea offer your service to these struggling neighbors. They will really appreciate all the help they can get, especially if they don’t have any nearby relatives who can help them.
- Offer lifts to elderly neighbors. As well as helping your elderly neighbors with jobs in their homes, you should also see if you can help them by giving them lifts whenever they need to go somewhere. They might have had to give up their driving license and they could struggle on public transport. So, as you can probably tell, giving them lifts to the shops or their hospital appointments could be a major lifeline for them!
- Start a neighborhood watch. If your neighborhood has slightly higher than average levels of crime and antisocial behavior, then you should consider setting up a neighborhood watch with your neighbors. A neighborhood watch is an organized group of civilians who watch out for one another and work to bring down crime levels in their local area. Most neighborhood watches liaise closely with their local police force.
- Adopt a pet. I’ve already mentioned that you could help out at your nearest animal shelter, but why not adopt a pet as well? You’ll be helping the shelter by taking one of the animals off their hands, and you will also be helping your new pet by giving them a forever home.
- Create a community garden. If you live in an area of high-rise flats and appartments, not many of the families in your neighborhood will have a garden that they can enjoy. So, it’s a really nice idea to set up a community garden. You should get in touch with your local council to see if they have a plot of land that they are willing to donate for this. You can then work on the garden to get it into shape before inviting everyone in to enjoy their new communal outdoor space.
- Volunteer with recovering addicts. There might be a program in place for recovering addicts in your local area. If so, why not volunteer to help them get their lives back on track? There are various ways you can help them, even if it’s just offering up an hour or so a week to talk to them and give them your friendship.
- Add some street lights. Sometimes, doing something as simple as placing more street lighting and lamps on a street can really liven things up. This not only makes a street look a lot more attractive, but it also makes it safer as well!
- Start a recycling scheme. You might want to get everyone in your community recycling more to help improve the environment. You can do this by placing some paper and glass recycling bins somewhere in your area so people have somewhere to take these materials rather than simply throwing them out with the trash.
- Smile more. Next time you are out and about in your community, be sure to smile more and greet everyone who you see. You’ll be surprised at how much this improves people’s’ moods and makes your community seem like a much friendlier place to be!
So, which of the above tips do you think you’ll test out?
Tagged: Adopt a pet, assisted-living center, community project, Donate, food bank, fundraising event, kid’s after-school club, local businesses, local charity, neighborhood, neighborhood watch, nursing home, organize a fundraising event, Smile more, voluntarily, Volunteer