10 Ways You Can Make a Difference in Your Community
Posted on October 15 2018
October 27 is Make a Difference Day! It’s an entire day dedicated to helping out your community in some way, whether big or small. The key purpose is to give your time, ability, and/or knowledge to help someone else within your community. Sounds pretty awesome, right?
“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” —Nelson Mandela
We all should try to leave a positive mark on the world, and Make a Difference Day is the perfect opportunity to give of yourself for a better life. Instead of getting bogged down in the day-to-day struggles of life, try one of these ten ideas to start making a difference today.
1. Clean Up a Beach
If you live near a beach, then it’s your responsibility to make sure that it stays beautiful for generations to come. The good news is that it doesn’t take much. Grab a bunch of your friends and family and head out to the beach for a few hours with bags for trash. Then, start picking up all the litter you see.
Every hour, approximately 1.6 million tons of waste enters our ocean. So, don’t leave the cleaning for someone else and help #ditchdisposables. Head to the beach and do your part to keep our oceans clean.
2. Work on Something Sustainable
There are many ways to create something sustainable in your community, something that lasts and impacts generations to come. One idea for doing something sustainable is to join or help plant a community garden. Not only does a garden provide produce and goods to the local neighborhood—particularly in underserved areas—but it’s also a great way to bring people together. Do what you can by planting, harvesting, weeding, or whatever is needed.
Another sustainable idea for making a difference is to join a program such as Habitat for Humanity and volunteer to build affordable housing for communities in need. Over a couple of weeks, you can help provide a brand new home to someone in need that will take care of their family for years.
When you volunteer, you give your energy and skills to help other people. No matter how or where you volunteer, whether at a food bank, hospital, youth center, school, senior home, or animal shelter, you can make a difference in your community. All you have to do is complete a quick search online to find the right volunteer opportunity near you where you can give back to your community in a big way.
4. Donate Blood
The Red Cross holds about 500 blood drives every day, and every donation can save up to three lives! A quick blood donation can make the difference between life and death for someone in need. Your blood could be used for any number of emergency situations from a car accident victim to someone who needs heart surgery or is undergoing Leukemia treatments. Donating blood is one of the best things you can do, and this October is a perfect time. The Red Cross is looking for 13,000 blood donations a day throughout the month, so get donating now!
5. Mentor Someone
Becoming a mentor is invaluable. Using your skills, knowledge, and experience, you can help someone else reach their goals and follow their dreams. There are dozens of mentorship opportunities throughout the country. A few of our favorites include Big Brothers and Big Sisters, YMCA, Save Our Youth, and Futurpreneur. No matter if you choose to mentor someone young or old, connecting with someone and lending a helping hand is always a wonderful idea.
6. Organize a Charitable Event
If there’s something you’re passionate about, then organize an event to earn money on its behalf. For example, if you’re passionate about animals, organize a charity drive on behalf of your favorite animal shelter. Other ideas include going door-to-door to collect food donations for your local pantry or hosting a BBQ in the park to raise money for your favorite senior’s program.
And don’t worry if you can’t come up with a great idea. Most of the time your favorite charity will have a list of event suggestions that you can use as inspiration. Here are some ideas from Knowhow Nonprofit.
7. Shop Local
A small way to make a difference in your neighborhood is to skip heading to Wal-Mart or your big-name grocery store, and instead head to your small local shop for your purchases. By spending money at your local, family-owned shops, you’re keeping money in your community and supporting your local economy. What this does is creates a cycle where you spend money and then that money is reinvested again and again through other shops and services.
8. Adopt a Neighbor
You can make a difference with even the smallest gesture. In fact, sometimes it’s the smallest gestures that have the biggest impact. That’s why we love the idea of making a difference in a very personal way by looking at your own neighborhood. Find someone on your street who needs help, whether it’s the older lady who lives alone or the single mother, and see how you can lend a helping hand. Maybe you can help with some yard work or a trip to the grocery store. Other ideas include offering free daycare or transportation.
9. Take Part in Your Community
Almost every community holds regular meetings to discuss needs and issues that are important to the people in your area. Most of us ignore these meetings, but they are actually a great place to meet new people and to develop more familiarity with what’s going on in your community. By attending a meeting or taking part in a community project, you’ll discover a new passion for everything local.
10. Organize a Clean Up
Just because you don’t live near a beach doesn’t mean you can’t spend some time cleaning up your community. It’s easy.
- Grab some friends or neighbors,
- Buy a box of garbage bags and recycling bags,
- Get a good supply of rubber gloves
- And find a location that needs help—a local park, neighborhood street, or shopping complex.
- Get everyone onboard to join the #ditchdisposables revolution! This will help ensure that areas stay clean in the future.
Then, just plan a day where everyone can agree to come out for a few hours and take care of all the trash. By making it a group event, you make it fun, quick, and effective.
There are so many ways you can make a difference in your community and to the people who need your help most. Find out what you’re passionate about and then find out how you can use that passion to give back. There’s no wrong answer, so don’t hold back on October 27.