Giving back can come in many forms. From organising a bake sale to volunteering at a local homeless shelter, there are plenty of things you can do to give back to your local community. Depending on your skills and experience, once you start looking, you’ll come across an abundance of opportunities for getting involved.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you draw from your own experiences, embrace your own skillsets and truly give back to your community.
Looking for a way to make your contribution really personal? What better way than to give blood? By offering a literal part of yourself, you can feel safe in the knowledge that your donation has made a difference to those who really need it. And if you’re not able to donate or have a phobia of needles, there are other ways you can offer your time. With the NHS calling for nearly 5,000 people a day for blood donations alone to meet the needs of hospitals and patients, there’s no better time to offer up a part of yourself.
Share your skills
One sure-fire way of giving back to your community is by offering up your time and invaluable skills. No matter where your skills lie, volunteering your time and expertise in a number of areas can help others with their confidence, resilience and help to open up doors as well as raising community awareness. Try this voluntary organisation for helpful ways in which you can branch out.
And the best thing about this form of giving back? You can learn something new too – who says seniors are unable to pick up new skills? Definitely not us.
Become a mentor
Are you looking for a way to turn your passion into a way of helping others? By becoming a mentor, you can channel the thing you really love into helping others overcome challenges, build upon their own skillsets and teach them something new.
You can become a mentor to absolutely anyone of any age but if you’re seeking to steer a child or young adult on the right path, not only is this is a really rewarding way of giving back to your community, but it’s a great way to become a real presence in a young person’s life.
Befriend your four-legged friends
From dog walking to cat sitting and every furry encounter in between, there are plenty of opportunities to help your local community by serving the needs of both them and their four-legged pets. You could even volunteer your time by helping out at a local animal rescue centre or charity, whether you have the skills to physically help animals or offer a helping hand by way of administrative or other essential daily tasks.
Volunteer at a homeless shelter
The idea of volunteering at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen often enters people’s minds during the harsh, winter months or holiday season. And whilst it’s true that these centres can become inundated with requests for extra volunteers, there’s no reason you can’t give up some of your time at any point throughout the year to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. In fact, volunteering at a homeless shelter could offer the chance to put your cooking or conversational skills to great use. To find a shelter in your own area, check out CentrePoint.
Looking to give back on a slightly larger scale? When disasters happen, this is when communities do what they do best, by coming together to look after their own. With such immediate needs taking priority, donations will be welcomed at a time where people truly need them the most. From floods to fires and all other types of occurring disasters, all sorts of essential items will be sought after, whether this be clothing, food or even a place to stay.
Some communities will even band together to form a disaster recovery team to ensure the needs of their local community are completely covered. Check your local news feed on social media sites such as Facebook, where you can uncover all sorts of local struggles within your own community.
Donate your clothes, toys and food
Whether you’ve got a whole closet full of barely worn clothes, a room full of toys that could see to a good home or have a cupboard full of food that could help out others who need it in your community, donating your items is both a simple and rewarding way of giving back to those less fortunate. From charity shops to food banks of local charities who are seeking specialist items, such as coats for the homeless, a quick internet search or word of mouth to others within your local area can offer up a whole host of opportunities for donating.
If time is preventing you from getting involved in bigger community projects, monetary donations are the next best thing and can help out those who really need it. Websites such as globalgiving.org and Go Fund Me offer options for you to search for those causes that are close to your heart. From personal stories to companies, organisations and non-profits within all sorts of areas, from education to the environment. And the best thing? They are a quick and simple way for you to give back.
Raise some money for a good cause
If donating is something you want to get involved with and you have a little more time to spare, why not rally the troops and organise a local event to raise some money for charity? If you’re a skilled baker, you could host a bake sale. Moving house? Why not set up your own car boot stall? You could even ask friends and family if they have any upcoming fundraising events at work, school or other areas where you could offer your services.
If you’re not sure of a specific task you can undertake to help out in your local community, sometimes just the act of asking is enough in the first instance. A good place to start is by contacting a representative within a local community club or organisation and express your desire to help those in need. Make sure to let them know how you wish to help, whether this be your time, monetary donations or the chance to fundraise. Whatever your style may be, there are always opportunities to help your local community.