8 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Community

Sulabh Gupta

“How wonderful it is that nobody needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that our life is unpredictable and if you are more fortunate than others, lending a helping hand can help change someone’s life.

While you don’t need to be a superhero to help someone in need, here are 10 easy ways through which you can help and make a difference in your community.

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Image by Shane Rounce on Unsplash.com

Volunteer

Volunteering your time and your skills to a local non-profit or volunteering organization is a great way to contribute to your community. It can range from a hospital to a homeless shelter or a senior home. The great thing about it is that all it requires you to do is to a quick google search and you will find that most of the places are always short of volunteers. You can pick and choose the one you are most comfortable with or works with your work schedule. Another way is to be associated with your workplace charities as a volunteer. Other than feeling better about yourself, volunteering can help you expand your network with like-minded people.

Donate

Whether it is blood, money, used clothes, or food – it doesn’t matter what you donate but donating anything can help lessen the burden on some of the less fortunate people in your community. There are several volunteer organizations that can come to your place to pick up sizable donations or have several drop-off locations for you to drop any item that can be used by someone else. So next time you are throwing something out or find something that you no longer use in your next spring cleaning, think about donating it.

Support Small Businesses

COVID-19 has put a dent in most of the small businesses throughout the world. A big percentage of these businesses have either ceased operations or are fighting to be alive. Supporting smaller businesses has become more important than ever. One clear way to make a difference in your communities is to support these small businesses that ultimately would help create jobs and improve the nation’s economic growth. Now, this does not mean ordering something at a price that is double what you would get elsewhere but just being mindful when purchasing something like your lunch or dinner and opt for local businesses.

Become a Mentor

You must be very lucky if you had someone in your life who had guided you throughout your personal and professional journey. Try to be that someone for someone else. All of us have had a unique life journey with some life lessons that could help someone going through the same thing you went through 5 or 10 years ago. You don’t have to formally tell anyone that you want to be a mentor but if you know someone in your social circle that is doing something wrong, try to share your wisdom. There are organizations like Big Brothers and Big Sisters, futurpreneur, or Trudeau foundation that can help connect you with folks that need help. There are several mentorship programs for new immigrants or in communities that you can look to get involved with.

Smile

“Smile at strangers and you just might change a life.” – Steve Maraboli

We live in a world where people are always in front of a screen and connect with friends through Instagram updates. Studies suggest that the new generation is slowly becoming less empathetic to people around them. I can remember countless occasions when a stranger at the gym or on the street smiled at me and I smiled back and instantly felt better. The least you could do whenever you encounter another human being is to smile and you never know you might just make someone’s day. When you go to a cashier try to smile when you talk to them, smile at the person next to you at the bus stop and you will notice how you can uplift your own mood as well as the other person’s mood by just moving some muscles on your face. Talk about flexing your muscles.

Raise money for a cause

We have a lot of tragedy around us but luckily in this internet world, we have more ways than ever to increase awareness and raise money for a charity that you associate closely with. If you have someone in your family or social circle suffering from a disease that requires a substantial amount of money for treatment, raising awareness and some funds for the treatment can be the difference between someone’s life or death. It doesn’t matter how much money you can raise but every penny counts.

Random act of kindness

A random act of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life. Whether it is providing a meal to a homeless person or a hot drink to someone on a cold day, you never know how a simple and small gesture from you can make someone’s day.

Be your best self

Lastly, just be the best version of yourself by doing the basic things right. That means don’t litter, don’t drink and drive, don’t break quarantine rules during COVID-19, etc. By improving your own life and becoming a responsible community member you can set a great example for other people in your community, especially the kids or youth that would model your good behavior. Just doing the basic things right can set a cascading effect on your local community and you may make a huge difference without even knowing it but just the little things right is a big step in making a difference in your community.

Final Words

It is unfortunate that while we are progressing through technological advancements, more and more people are battling financial hardships. Our environment is getting worse every day to a point of no return. While what you do to make a difference in your local community will not help cure world hunger or fix the lives of several thousand people but just a small gesture can help make a world of difference in someone’s life. Changing one life or one day in someone’s life is still better than doing nothing.

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