The next two months mark a time where it’s common to give presents to your friends and family. But what about your community? It’s a perfect opportunity to express gratitude through different methods. There are endless ways to give back to both people you know and those you don’t.
Here are eight ideas to consider.
1. Walk Dogs at a Local Shelter
Your local pet shelters need help, too. The abandoned dogs, cats and other animals can always use a little extra love. There’s more than one way to offer your assistance, as well. For example, you could donate food and toys or organize an adoption event.
These furry friends also need to be petted and walked. This suggestion may even be a more pandemic-friendly option. You should call local shelters to see when you can stop by to spend time with different animals. As a result, you help them socialize — and you have a chance to relax.
2. Volunteer Online With International Charities
There are some websites that connect you to opportunities to do remote work with international organizations. These roles range from graphic design to language interpretation, so you should be able to find a position that works for your skillset. Plus, you’ll never have to leave your house!
Take a weekend to explore digital volunteer opportunities to find one that piques your interest. You could detect human rights violations for Amnesty International or support people through the Crisis Text Line. In any case, you’re sure to help someone.
3. Collect Food Pantry Donations
Your town’s food pantries may need extra donations due to COVID-19. Why not organize a food drive? This project can be a great way to teach your kids about philanthropy, too. Plus, it’s easy to social distance as you operate.
Send an email to friends, family and neighbors asking for donations. Be sure to research which items your local food banks accept and reject beforehand. It’s helpful to inquire about products they especially need, too.
Set a timeslot for everyone to drop their donations at your house. Then, you can deliver them to each food pantry when you have a few free hours. You’ll be able to give back yourself, but you also give others a chance to help.
4. Set an Appointment to Give Blood
Did you know that one person needs blood every two seconds in America? You can offer assistance by donating your own. This process may be intimidating, but it’s one of the best ways to give back to your community. In most instances, it only takes a few minutes to do.
Look for a nearby blood donation center to schedule an appointment. You’ll have to make sure you’re eligible first. There are certain ages, weights and circumstances that may disqualify you from donating blood.
5. Join a Local Cleanup Initiative
You can also help the planet. Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean — and that waste causes distinct issues for both animals and plants. While it’ll be virtually impossible to lower those numbers significantly, you can do your part to assist.
Your community should have a few groups that volunteer to clean up public spaces. You can contact those organizations to see when and where they’ll hold their next event. You’ll likely visit a park, city or beach to pick up trash.
That said, you can always try this initiative on your own. All you need are gloves, a grabber and bags to remove trash from public spaces. It’s good to turn this effort into a routine, too. This way, you can clean up a little garbage on a frequent basis.
6. Deliver Baked Goods to Firefighters
The season of giving is also a great time to bake treats. If you plan to make cookies, brownies or other baked goods, you should consider packaging up a few for your community’s firefighter squad. They definitely deserve some appreciation.
If you’re not comfortable giving them homemade food for sanitary reasons, you can always buy pre-packaged goods. Be sure to add a special touch like a note thanking them for their service. It’s the thought that counts.
7. Start a Community Garden
A community garden can be a significant undertaking, but it’s well worth the work when you’re finished. These spaces provide many life lessons to people throughout our communities. Not only do these green areas offer food, but they also foster friendship and hard work, too.
If you organize an effort to build a community garden, you’ll see positive results for years to come. This can be a great permanent endeavor to help your neighborhood in the long run. Plus, you’ll be able to expand your own gardening skills.
8. Help Job-Seekers Write Resumes
If you’re a skilled writer, you can help job-seekers land their dream roles. It’s not always easy to write a winning CV, so this can be one of the best ways to give back to others. That’s especially true when more people are looking for jobs due to COVID-19.
You can offer your services for free to a local library or school. If you want to work exclusively online, you can post an advertisement on websites like UpWork to connect with job-seekers. Make sure to list your qualifications so that people know you’re a good choice.
These Suggestions Offer Unique Ways to Give Back
If you’re looking for a way to assist your community, you can use these ideas to express your gratitude. This experience will be enriching for all parties involved. Whether you want to bake cookies or walk dogs, you can definitely find a way to help out.