By doing our part to contribute to the community, we add people to our circle of influence and gain opportunities to build relationships with our neighbors. We also demonstrate what it means to be a good citizen to our children. In support of World Humanitarian Day here are 10 ways to give back to your community:
1. Take a garbage bag while walking through the neighborhood. Pick up any litter along the way. As a by-product, you can get some exercise built into your day.
2. Shop with locally owned businesses, saving time and money. Many locally owned businesses offer services like free gift-wrapping and delivery. And a percentage of your sales taxes go directly to the local community.
3. Find positive aspects of your community share with other people. A positive image encourages residents to shop locally, increases the chance new businesses will open in the area and promotes growth.
4. Attend a local festival or other event. Many have free admission and activities. Most festivals are actually fundraisers for nonprofit organizations who make their money through sponsorships. Since sponsors look at attendance numbers to decide how much to give, your family can add to the number and help increase what businesses give next year.
5. Write a letter to local elected officials encouraging them for making good decisions for the community. People work harder when they know they are appreciated. And elected officials seldom hear enough encouraging words.
6. Put a potted plant on your front porch. When your home looks spruced up, it makes the whole neighborhood and the community to look better as well. Just remember to water it.
7. Take left over dinner to an elderly neighbor. If you have a family of four, cook enough dinner for five one night and deliver a plate to the widow next door. Your delivery helps you to get to know your neighbors better. And police promote knowing your neighbors as the best way to fight neighborhood crime.
8. Look for opportunities to give in your community. Many schools collect items, such as like canned foods, old coats, toys and eyeglasses, for less fortunate families.
9. Elections happen every year. Check out the candidates for local elections.
10. Encourage your employer to sponsor local events, join a civic organization or allow employees to volunteer during work hours. Many businesses have volunteer programs to reward employees for volunteering. Local news media often cover large volunteer events and having employee representation gives businesses extra publicity.