ways to give back in your neighborhood
When I was young, my sister and I were in our local 4-H club. We would always take things like Arts & Crafts, Baking, and Sewing. But more than that, I remember the club teaching us how to be a part of our community and, specifically, to give back to it. It was a wonderful experience for a young person to have—I was happy because I was with friends, but we were also providing community services while we were having fun together. Completely win-win. If you’re looking for a way to give back to your community with a group of people (big or small!), here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.
Clean it Up. You don’t have to be an official cleaning crew to get to work! Gather a few families, some trash bags, and some gloves, and head to a place that could use a little love. Maybe you’ll inspire others to do the same.
Sing a Song. One of my favorite volunteer activities when I was younger was to sing in retirement communities. It’s something so simple, but so greatly appreciated by the residents. It needn’t be anything fancy—folk songs and old standards are great, because everyone can sing along. Bonus points if you have someone who knows how to play a guitar or piano.
Keep Someone Company. Many communities have senior centers with programs linking seniors and younger people, offering companionship and company for an hour here and there. Do a search for your local senior center and inquire how you might help.
Make an Offer. Is your neighbor juggling circumstances that make life stressful? New babies, moves, or the loss of a relative can really throw people for a loop. If you know someone who might need some help, show up at their house with a simple meal, or mow their lawn. Small gestures can make all the difference during a stressful time, and giving back can happen even on the simplest level.
Plant Something. Want your neighborhood to be a little greener? Make it happen! Organize a planting party (trees, grasses, greenery, anything!) and beautify your surroundings. Check with your city to ensure you’re planting in the right areas, especially if you’re planting trees.
Neighborhoods are made great by the people within them, so don’t be afraid to lead the way. Your efforts will come back to you tenfold, as you enjoy the neighborhood that you’ve fostered!