by Jeannie Mark
Our daily lives are so busy it’s easy to get caught up in our to-do lists, that we easily forget about the welfare of others.
But if you took a look around your neighborhood, you’d easily find ways to give back to your local community, because let’s face it, impacting your own community is the best way to begin giving back to the global community as a whole.
1. Volunteer with Big Sisters or Big Brothers
The cliche of our future resting on children is not a cliche at all. Children will one day become mothers, fathers, leaders and thriving citizens of the community. We have a duty to invest in their well-being and growth, which is why organizations like Big Sisters or Big Brothers is so important. Give one or two days a week to one of these organizations and soon you’ll see how fulfilling it is to witness a child blossom.
2. Participate in Neighborhood Improvements
A safe and pleasant neighborhood is everyone’s desire, so it helps to be personally invested in where you live. Every neighborhood has an association, join it and be pert of beautifying your surroundings through neighborhood drives or keeping it safe by participating in a block watch program.
3. Give Time, Not Just Money to a Food Bank
The only time a food bank seems to get press is during the holidays. This is sad because the harsh truth is the poor and the homeless need care all year round. Devote an afternoon of just 2 to 4 hours to volunteering at the food bank to find out how the operations work and consider bringing your children along as an outing to spend time with them but also educate them on how other people live. Guaranteed, you won’t look at food the same way again.
4. Participate in a Local Recycling Program
Certain cities are far ahead on this practice than others, but many large cities have a recycling program that citizens can participate in. Take the time to sort your plastics, paper and newspaper into proper bins and take them to the proper recycling centers. Do the same thing with your electronics where possible. It’s an easy thing to do on a Saturday among your other errands.
5. Buy Local
The term of “buy local” is nothing new, but some people don’t realize how important this is. Commercial leases are not inexpensive and the cost to operate a grocery store or restaurant is fairly substantial. When you buy locally, you support the economy of your neighborhood, which keeps local business owners thriving, contributing to lower crime rates. Think about it. A rundown looking neighborhood with abandoned buildings and no job prospects for the local residents is an invitation for street crime. At the same time, buying local also keeps away the large box stores. Larger brands have a negative impact on the local economy by paying low wages and threatening relocation. A strong local economy can take the impact of minor economic changes.
As you can see, it really is that easy to do more for your fellow man. You just have to take the first step.
About the Author
Jeannie Mark left the corporate cubicle in 2010 and bought a one-way ticket to India, never looking back once. Through her travel/creative website, Nomadic Chick she inspires other women to seek out the same, an impassioned life full of purpose. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.