There’s a saying that goes ‘small acts, when multiplied, can transform the world’. There’s a lot to say about community in the 21st century. It can be easy to think that we live out our modern lives like islands, tethered to technology, heads buried in phones, and failing to find a way to make meaningful connections with those in close proximity. This is where being part of something can change the way we think, like a stone cast upon water – we can create ripples of change that reach every shore. We all have something to give and we can all bring benefit to the world (whether large or small) by giving something back. Beyond the idea of having to break the bank, here are some tips for getting crafty with giving back to your community…
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Share Good News
The world can feel like there’s a lot of doom and gloom going on so why not look to spread a bit of cheer around your neighbourhood. Put together a positive news community letter filled with shared events, personal tidbits (with people’s permission), and noting all the amazing things that have happened right on your doorstep. Not only will this boost community spirit but it also helps to forge closer connections with locals and can help build a local scene.
Wherever you live you can be sure that there will be some local businesses right on your doorstep. Instead of ordering online or heading to the bigger branches, why not do a little digging and see what you can buy locally. Contributing to the local economy can be amazing for your community as it directly benefits your doorstep economy. From farmers markets to cosy corner shops, across the road hairdressers, and local restaurants and bars, consider where your investments will make the most impact.
Get in the Garden
Community gardens are a gorgeous way of creating nurturing spaces on your doorstep. Just a small patch of space can transform everything, giving everyone a plot to work on – whether growing vegetables and herbs for all or even just planting pretty flowers to cheer up the street. While working in community gardens, this also gives you a great chance to meet the neighbours transforming a street of strangers into friendly faces and close-knit camaraderie.
Hang Out With People
If your local community has a pensioners club or community centre for young people – go and hang out and volunteer. Whether it's checking in with elderly neighbours to see if they need milk picking up from the store or crafting a workshop for teenage girls to chat and learn a skill, people will always need people and you can help facilitate that. Loneliness is one of our biggest burdens in the 21st century, let's start making time and space to support each other.
Whether out for a dog walk or taking part in an organized litter pick, cleaning up your streets is a low cost, low risk and extremely beneficial thing to do in your local community. Go out armed with a bag and bring home some litter, sweep the fallen leaves from the sidewalk, and keep your own garden neat and maybe offer help to those who can’t do the same. Having a clean and tidy looking neighbourhood is sure to keep everyone’s spirits high.
Put Your Books Out
If you find your shelves are stacked high with books you no longer need or read, why not make a front lawn library? Set up a box of books on the street and a sign inviting people to take the ones they want. This is an amazing way of giving back to the community, especially as not everyone has the access they need when it comes to literature. You may even start a trend and before you know it, the whole street could be one living breathing library. Ah, the dream.
Feel free to share your own ideas on how to give back to the community. Can’t wait to hear them and starting contributing to making our streets warmer places to be.