If you're looking to make a contribution to your community in a more substantial way there are many avenues you can explore. What makes a community is the people working together to help make your block, neighborhood, city or town worth living in.
If you're new to volunteering you may maintain the antiquated notion that giving back has to be boring. Not true. Depending on your interests you can help your community in ways that also give you joy.
- Love animals? Why not help out at a local shelter or walk dogs for senior citizens who are no longer as mobil as they once were?
- If you love children you could assist at your local hospital to make sure babies in incubation get human interaction.
- Or maybe you have carpentry skills you'd like to put to use – there are many non-profits out there helping families in need by building or repairing their homes at low or no cost.
- Don't forget to consider giving the gift of literacy or a second language to those in need.
Yep, one of the best ways to make your town a great place to live is to support independent artists and businesses. Granted, the national chain stores often offer convenience and sometimes lower prices but what do they do to help contribute to the feel of a community? If you take pride in where you live give back by keeping your money circulating locally whenever possible.
Volunteering as a DJ at your local college station is about as much fun you can have while giving back. Many local radio stations have been drastically affected by funding cutbacks and fewer donations from listeners – to help offset costs, many radio hosts work for free.
Love music and want to share it with the community? Contact your local college stations to see if they have any openings. If the station doesn't initially have openings then ask to sign up as a substitute host, as needed. Once you're around long enough there's a better than average bet that you'll soon get your own time slot. Worried because you've never DJ'd before? Don't worry, the station will train you.
Join a Co-Op
If interested in exceptional health food or fitness gear you might want to look into the advantages of joining a co-op. The idea is that you pay a certain manageable amount every month or year, in exchange for deals on quality items. The theory is that you, in essence, own the store where you shop. In addition to feeling invested in the success of the business these types of establishments tend to make more of an effort to hear what their customers have to say.
And you thought making a difference would be painful or boring. The truth is you can often express yourself creatively, use skills that can make a difference and help make your community an even better place to live.