No matter your media source, you can’t help but notice how these volatile times impact communities across the country. It took a global pandemic for most to become aware of the many daily challenges Americans face. Climate change, food shortages, civil unrest, social injustices, political chaos, violent crimes, and, recently, inflation have left many mentally, emotionally, and financially overwhelmed. Naturally, it would prompt an empathetic or compassionate person to want to do something to make a difference.
Volunteer Your Time And Resources
There is a wide misconception that you need a lot of money, time, or assets to truly give back to your community. However, it’s often the simplest things that can make the biggest difference. Believe it or not, 30 minutes a day, $5 a month, or even your presence can be all that’s necessary to support and positively impact your community. Not sure how to volunteer your time and resources? Consider these ideas below.
Offer Your Time, Education, or Professional Skills
Find local programs and activities where volunteers are needed. You can read stories to students, offer after-school tutoring, provide support at a local shelter, donate to clothing and food drives, start or help manage a community garden, sponsor local teams, or help seniors with everyday activities.
If you want to use your business or professional skills, give back by offering products and services for free. Whether you’re an accountant that does taxes for low-income families or a fitness instructor who hosts free exercise classes at a nearby park, it can mean a lot to those in need.
Get Involved At Nearby Schools
Children are the heart of the community, and schools provide the foundation they need to become outstanding citizens. What better way to change the path of your community than to support children at nearby schools?
- PTA/PTO – You can join the PTA, where parents, faculty, and local residents collaborate to develop programs, activities, and events for students.
- Parent Liaison – You can apply for the parent liaison position and provide support to parents, guardians, and families. Your role is essential in keeping the lines of communication open between schools and parents while offering households the tools they need to support their child’s education at home.
- Leadership positions – Board of Education administrators, superintendents, principals, vice principals, deans, and department leaders are responsible for everything from budgets and resources to curriculum and instruction. Eligibility requirements vary by locality and educational facility; however, these high-level positions often prefer applicants with a degree in education, child psychology, business administration, or other related fields. You may also need to enroll in an administrative credential program to enhance your understanding of education, child development, and leadership.
- Be Present – Keep in mind that getting involved at a nearby school doesn’t have to involve attending regular PTA meetings or applying for open positions. You can simply volunteer to read books, hand out snacks, chaperone trips, make baked goods for fundraisers, or offer your assistance with upcoming school events.
Attend Community Meetings And Town Halls
If changing careers or running for office isn’t ideal, there are other ways you can support your community. One suggestion is to attend community meetings and town halls. These are meetings held by local officials to hear residents’ concerns and address upcoming changes or methods to improve.
Unfortunately, most people don’t attend these events, leaving their voices unheard. You can make a difference by showing up and sharing your opinions. Your presence lets local officials know that you care, and your questions, statements, and comments can help them develop better practices to improve the community. You can take notes and share updates with neighbors to encourage them to get involved.
These are especially difficult times for everyone. If you desire to step in and help out, you have plenty of options to consider. Whether you run for office, apply for an education administration position, attend town halls, or volunteer your time and resources, your efforts can make a difference. Ultimately, if everyone in the community comes together to make positive changes, we can get through these challenges, heal, and evolve.