There is no better time than now to start getting involved with your local community. People have become so frustrated and disenchanted with their political representation, they are quickly realizing that the most effective way of getting things done is to pull their resources together and start helping each other directly. You can volunteer in your community and make a difference, even if you don’t have a lot of free time available to contribute. It all starts with a commitment to improve and push for a better future.
Know your Limits
By knowing how much you can physically take time out to volunteer for your community, you can prevent ever worrying about letting others down or letting yourself down due to missing commitments or events. Community organizers are in charge of distributing man-power and getting the most out of limited resources. If you are not honest about how much you are able to do with your schedule, you will not only frustrate yourself and others, you will frustrate those that you have sought to help.
Find your Calling
When looking for ways and places to volunteer in your community, consider your schedule, then decide the best use of your time. For ideas on where you can volunteer your time, try asking friends, your local places of worship, community colleges, community radio, local homeless shelters, and so-forth. This should get you a wide variety of opportunities to apply your resources in the most beneficial and effective manner.
Major Community Contributions:
• Donations of food, clothing, hygiene products, and electronics are very helpful for the needy in your community.
• Participation in local city board meetings and vital public resources, such as: homeless shelters, public transportation, public utilities, parks, roads, and policing.
• Help organize events to raise money, such as: bake sales, marathons, book sales, and art galleries.
• Direct involvement with local soup kitchens, tutoring, literacy classes (i.e. reading, writing, and computer skills).
• Join political and social groups to learn more about community-building movements, like urban farming projects, for example.
Be Active Online
This is more than just sharing and retweeting posts on local accounts or groups. By following local community news and forums, you can have an important voice and have a say about issues that affect your local community. Many bad changes that go against the interest of the public are enacted with very little opposition. It does not take thousands of people to obstruct changes that favor private gains and hurt progress, such as rate increases on public utilities, the illegal dumping of chemicals in nearby water supplies, unfair taxation, attacks on small businesses, and so forth.
While donating what you can financially to community organizations can be very helpful, participating directly to these causes and rallying your family, friends, and neighbors can multiply these efforts significantly. Sometimes the biggest obstacles that community organizations face is getting the word out on what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how people can help achieve their goals.