How to Help the Community

Three Methods:Helping OccasionallyJoining a Community GroupOrganizing a Helpful Project

Town government, non-profits, schools and businesses rely on the kindness of strangers to make a community thrive. Each town has specialized needs, which you can identify by researching online and calling local organizations. You can volunteer when you have some free time, become an integral part of a community organization or start your own community service.

Method 1
Helping Occasionally

  1. Image titled Help the Community Step 1
    1
    Call up your local homeless shelter. Ask if you can serve food at a soup kitchen or provide support help in the office. If they don’t need volunteers, gather toiletries that you don’t use and deliver them to the nearest location.
    • Many shelters lack toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, tampons and cleaning wipes.
  2. Image titled Help the Community Step 2
    2
    Volunteer to read to senior citizens at a nursing home or senior center. If you excel at a craft, volunteer to teach the elderly a class once a month.
  3. Image titled Help the Community Step 3
    3
    Call your county elections office. Sign up to serve as an election judge. If there aren’t spots available, volunteer to help provide meals or breaks to poll employees on Election Day.
  4. Image titled Help the Community Step 4
    4
    Start a carpool at work. Fill your car with people and save up to 26 lbs. of CO2 emissions per day.[1]
  5. Image titled Help the Community Step 5
    5
    Join a tutoring program. Helping improve literacy and writing skills for children or adults is a worthwhile cause. Call your school district or job services office.
  6. Image titled Help the Community Step 6
    6
    Ask elderly neighbors if you can shovel their sidewalks during the winter. You can also offer to rake leaves or take their garbage to the dumpster.
  7. Image titled Help the Community Step 7
    7
    Donate blood or platelets. Go online to schedule your donation at your local Red Cross donor center.[2]
  8. Image titled Help the Community Step 8
    8
    Send a care package to troops overseas. Operation Gratitude and other organizations can give you tips on what to send and who to send it to.
  9. Image titled Help the Community Step 9
    9
    Give food to your local food bank. Donate several times a year, instead of only at the holidays. Many food banks run low year-round.

Method 2
Joining a Community Group

  1. Image titled Help the Community Step 10
    1
    Find a permanent volunteer position at www.volunteermatch.org. Search by cause, such as animals, homeless, education, children and environment. As you volunteer for the organization, start to move into a leadership position where you can encourage greater change in your community.
  2. Image titled Help the Community Step 11
    2
    Find a local Rotary Club at www.rotary.org. The Rotary is an international organization with local chapters. They focus on funding community initiatives and eradicating polio worldwide.
  3. Image titled Help the Community Step 12
    3
    Volunteer to work on a local political campaign. Read up on the candidates and find someone who you believe will make a big difference. Call houses, stuff envelopes or go door-to-door campaigning for them.
  4. Image titled Help the Community Step 13
    4
    Train to man a help hotline. You can field calls concerning suicide prevention, domestic violence and health problems. Most hotline positions require extensive crisis management and counseling training, so you’ll want to be committed to the project.
  5. Image titled Help the Community Step 14
    5
    Coach a kid’s recreational team. If you excel at a sport, or simply love it, this is a healthy way to encourage fitness in your town.
  6. Image titled Help the Community Step 15
    6
    Build houses with Habitat for Humanity. You can reduce homelessness and learn valuable construction skills.
  7. Image titled Help the Community Step 16
    7
    Be a mentor. Big Brothers/Big Sisters provides role models to kids who need them. You can change your community one child at a time.
  8. Image titled Help the Community Step 17
    8
    Sign up to run a charity marathon or walk-athon. Get pledges from your friends and family to donate to a local or national charity that you believe in. Your registration fee will also go towards their proceeds.

Method 3
Organizing a Helpful Project

  1. Image titled Help the Community Step 18
    1
    Start a cleanup crew to pick up areas of your local rivers, beaches, parks or wilderness areas. In most areas, you will not need to organize permits. Find garbage bags, transportation and manpower.[3]
  2. Image titled Help the Community Step 19
    2
    Organize a local business alliance. If you are a business owner and you want to support your community, then create a downtown association or business association that will host events and pool its money. National organizations like Small Business Saturday even give promotional materials to help local alliances get started.[4]
  3. Image titled Help the Community Step 20
    3
    Start a community support group. Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, grief, chronic pain and hospice support groups allow a community to cope with hardship. Local hospitals, churches and community centers may be willing to host your group for free.
  4. Image titled Help the Community Step 21
    4
    Provide a free community event. Try an outdoor movie night, Farmer’s Market or fun run. Almost any talent can translate into a special day for you and your neighbors.
  5. Image titled Help the Community Step 22
    5
    Find a need in the community and start a non-profit to address it. If you have researched charities and found them lacking, you can begin the process to become a 501(c)3 charity and accept tax-deductible donations. Create a mission statement and start to get people on your Board of Directors.
    • Research IRS Form 1023 to learn more and get started.

Things You'll Need

  • Phone
  • IRS Form 1023

Article Info

Categories: Environmental Awareness | Health Activism