We all want to help make the world a better place in some way or another. However, it can often be difficult to narrow this focus in a way that can make a difference. One great way that you can make a positive contribution is by starting small—with the people in your community. Neighbors helping neighbors not only makes for a more personal opportunity to help, but it also creates a sense of togetherness within your town. Building these relationships will only make way for more support in the future.
Sometimes it can be difficult to serve in the community, since laws regulate things such as food donations, or others are skeptical of your help. Serve.gov has some tools for helping you better organize an act of community service. When you don’t have the resources to donate your money, giving with your time can oftentimes be even more valuable and will provide you with the feel-good emotions of helping others.
Find out where there are gaps in your community that you can help fill. Check local bulletin boards for people requesting help, or do a search online. Another way to assess the needs of people in your community is by doing a survey or organizing a focus group. Below are a couple of ideas to spark some brainstorming about public service.
Gifts for Public Servants
The people that who contribute to helping the community on a daily basis do not typically get nearly enough gratitude for their work. Putting together a gift basket for these individuals is a great way to help them know that they are appreciated. In fact, creating a gift basket focused on relaxation would be a great gift, since people in these professions do not get enough time to themselves. Donating school supplies to teachers is another great gift basket theme, as recent studies have shown that the amount of money that teachers spend out-of-pocket for school supplies is rapidly growing.
Creating a community garden is another great method for serving your community. Not only could a garden make your town look prettier, but if you plant vegetables, then you can also feed families in need. Make a sign that announces to the public that they may take whatever produce they want, and then give the rest of the harvest to a food bank or other community organization. If you get others in on your garden, then you can teach them the skills of procuring their own crops.
Another way that you can serve your community without having to donate a lot of money is find a partnering organization that will donate a portion of their proceeds to a local organization. That way, you can donate to your community while you shop! Mexicali Grill in Spencer, Ware, and Holden, MA is often running these types of programs. Mexicali Fresh Mex Grill partners with local organizations, such as libraries, sports teams, and PTA groups and donates a portion of their proceeds on certain days. Like them on Facebook to stay updated on how you can partake in their Community Outreach programs. We invite you to dine on our authentic Mexican food while having the satisfaction that you are serving your community in the meantime.
Can you describe a time when you helped another and it made you feel great? We love hearing stories about community support!