Becoming active in your community has so many benefits. You’ll meet all sorts of new people, experience some excellent events in your city and get to know interesting facts about your community. Being active in your community also increases your feelings of accomplishment, self-worth, and achievement.
If you’d like to become active in your community but aren’t quite sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. At Exercises for Injuries, we believe in community-mindedness and being an integral part of what makes your community a great place to live. Read on for our 22 tips on how to become more active in your community.
1. Volunteer at Schools
There are numerous opportunities to volunteer at your local schools. Many parents are busy, and schools are often looking for community members to lend a hand. Here are just some of the more common ways to volunteer at your local public and private schools:
- Speak about your job at the school’s Career Day
- Volunteer to serve as a crossing guard
- Volunteer as a teacher’s helper to grade papers and assist in the classroom
- Read to students at the primary school
- Chaperone a dance or field trip
- Sign up to sponsor needy children in sports
Schools will each have their own guidelines and requirements for community volunteers. You will also have to pass a background check to work in direct contact with students. Check with the school administration for open volunteer opportunities in your community.
2. Join or Teach a Class at a Community Center
Do you know how to crochet or want to learn? Look up the community center in your area online. They either have a class you can join or need a teacher for something in your area of expertise.
3. Facilitate a Book Club at Your Library
If your community has a library, it will often have community rooms that are available to host book clubs, art classes, and other activities. Sign up to lead a book club at the library or join an existing group. You may enjoy reading a new book and might even make a couple of friends in the process.
4. Volunteer at a Senior Center
Is there a senior living center in your community? They are always looking for volunteers to come in and help with events or merely come to play cards with residents during game night. They also need pianists to play during Sunday morning worship services. Sign up to help if you play an instrument.
Senior living centers are wonderful places to volunteer. There are so many residents who have no visitors at all. If you have a spare hour a few times a month, head over to your local retirement home and ask at the desk attendant which residents could use a visit. The elderly in your community will enjoy the company. You’ll be rewarded with all kinds of warm feelings in return.
5. Go to Church
If you aren’t already connected to a body of faith, look one up and join. A church is a great place to meet like-minded people and become involved in your community. Most churches are also active in the community. There is a plethora of community-centered volunteer opportunities within churches and places of worship.
6. Join Your Neighborhood Association
If your neighborhood has a homeowner’s association or a crime watch group, join it. Sit on the board or become a part of the event crew. Joining your neighborhood association is a wonderful way to get to know your neighbors and become an active part of your community.
7. Clean Up Your Area’s Green Spaces
Invite your neighbors, friends, and family out on a park cleanup day. Buy a box of disposable gloves and a roll of garbage bags. Then, head to your community park to pick up all the litter. You’ll be surprised at how much trash you collect and what a difference it makes.
8. Volunteer With the City
Go to your local government building or visit its website to inquire about volunteer opportunities. Often the city is looking for local citizens to assist in all sorts of community service tasks.
9. Work a Polling Location
Do you enjoy politics and the ins and outs of the electoral process? If so, you can volunteer to work at the voting booth during your next election. Visit the secretary of state website for your state for more information on how to sign up.
10. Organize a Blood Drive
The local blood banks are always looking for donors. They are often willing to bring out a blood-mobile to community locations for blood drives. You can contact them and organize a blood drive at your local park, church, office complex or community center.
11. Shop Locally
Rather than heading to one of the big-box stores to buy clothing and goods, consider some of the locally owned shops in your area. You’ll find unique items and feel good about supporting small businesses in your town. This same idea goes for restaurants as well. Why visit a national chain for dinner when you could patronize locally owned mom-and-pop establishments and put money right back into your community?
12. Participate in a 5K
Be on the lookout for 5K runs or walks in your community and sign up for one. It’s a terrific way to meet other community members and support the events in your city. It’s also a fantastic way to stay active physically.
13. Go to Neighborhood Yard Sales
Who doesn’t love a good bargain?! Community yard sales are wonderful venues to meet neighbors, get more acquainted with your city and score a stellar deal on a better bicycle or additions to your wardrobe. Check the newspapers and local resale sites for times and locations.
14. Organize a Block Party
Do you know both of your next-door neighbors, your backdoor neighbor and the people who recently moved in across the street? More than likely, you don’t Make up some flyers and put them on your neighbor’s doors. Then, enjoy a potluck block party together. You’ll probably learn a thing or two about the people on your block. Who knows? You could meet your new best friend.
15. Walk Around During Holidays Like Independence Day & Memorial Day
There are some holidays when people are outside picnicking or grilling in the yard. Make sure you’re out there too. Walk your dog around your neighborhood and wave to the folks who live nearby. Use these holidays as an opportunity to show your face and get to know your neighbors.
16. Make Your House the House to Visit on Halloween
When Halloween comes, make your house look open for business with decorations and a brightly lit porch light. Then, stock up on the best treats so the neighborhood kids will not want to miss stopping by your place. Being festive during Halloween is a superb way to meet your neighbors and their kids.
17. Decorate Your Home at Christmas
If you enjoy decorating, go all out on Christmas decorations for your house and front yard. People will enjoy the beauty it brings to the neighborhood, and you’ll be out maintaining that feeling all season. It’s another way to meet neighbors and brighten up your community.
18. Volunteer With Scouting Troops, After-school Clubs & Tutoring
Lots of big-hearted adults are needed to train up the little ones in your community. Look into boys’ and girls’ clubs, scouting troops and library tutoring programs in your area. Volunteer with one of these groups. The rewards of volunteering this way are countless.
19. Attend Parades
Anytime there’s a parade or community event in your area, be there. You can volunteer or just attend. However, you won’t want to miss another opportunity to mingle with the other community-minded citizens in your town.
20. Join a Mock Jury
The law firms in your area are likely looking for people to pose as mock jurors for upcoming cases. These gigs often pay a modest amount and the law firms will often cater your lunch when you come. Participating as a mock juror is an ideal way to meet others in your community. It’s also interesting and a nice way to earn some extra money.
21. Volunteer at the Hospital
Hospitals in your community need volunteers. They are often looking for people to work the information desks, help visitors find their way around, sit with premature babies and assist with community outreach. Check out the website of your local hospital or stop by today to inquire about how you can help.
22. Talk to People
Any chance you get, when you’re out in the community, say hello to your neighbors. When you’re in line at the coffee shop, make some small talk with the person in front of you. When you’re waiting to get your haircut at the salon, talk about something in the news with the person sitting next to you. Resist the temptation to scroll through your phone and stay comfortable. Becoming more active in your community is about getting out of your world and connecting with others. Make conversation with the people around you, and you’ll always make new friends and associates.
Improve Your Community & Yourself at the Same Time
Neighborhoods, communities, and cities are made up of ordinary citizens just like you. Parades, community events, donation drives and street fairs are all made better and are sometimes entirely run by people in the community who volunteer their time and talents to the cause.
Make this year the year that you become an outstanding and active member of your community. Join some groups in your area, visit your local schools and retirement homes and swing by the library to check out what’s happening there.
Become one of those people that helps make your community a better place to live and watch how it also benefits and enriches your life at the same time.