Have you ever felt like there’s something more you could be doing to improve your community, but you’re not sure what? Well, look no further! Here are 10 small projects that can make a big difference in any community.
1. Volunteer at a local school or daycare.
They say that it takes a whole village to raise a child. Children learn a lot from adults, and if you want to make your community better, you can start by helping instill good values in children. Help out with reading groups, art projects, or recess duty. You can also organize book donation drives to get books for reading groups or donate them to the local school’s library.
2. Clean up a local park or green space.
Bring some friends and family, and pick up litter, pull weeds, or plant flowers. If you have DIY know-how, you can also fix up any dilapidated public structures. It’s important to keep parks and public spaces clean and visitor-friendly, especially as they help in providing aesthetic, recreational, and environmental benefits to a community. A beautiful park near a property even helps in increasing its value!
3. Organize a food or clothing drive for a local homeless shelter or food bank.
It’s hard having nothing to your name and having no one to approach for help. In order to help anyone who is in this situation, ask everyone you know to donate items, and then deliver them to the designated shelter or food bank. You can take this one step further and participate when your chosen organization distributes aid to any homeless in your area. If you are already a small business owner, you can also contribute by providing free products or services to homeless people who pass by.
4. Collect pet supplies for a local animal shelter.
Animal shelters consume a lot of resources fast, and some even resort to putting down animals because they cannot take care of them any longer. Most shelters are always in need of things like food, blankets, and toys, so start a donation drive for these items. If this does not seem enough, you can help them by fostering some of the animals, adopting them yourself, or organizing an adoption event. You can help make an animal happy by helping them find their forever home, and in the process, make another family happy.
5. Start a neighborhood watch program.
Get to know your neighbors, and look out for each other. Not only is this a productive way to spend time with your neighbors, but it’s also a great way to get some steps in and keep yourself healthy. By taking turns patrolling several blocks each night, studies prove that you can help reduce crime in your area.
6. Work with city officials to implement traffic calming measures in your neighborhood.
Things like speed bumps and crosswalks can make a big difference in pedestrian safety. This is especially important for neighborhoods with many kids. By making the streets safer for them, you also let them play outdoors and socialize with peers, which overall contribute to their wholistic growth. To effectively do this, look out for areas where cars tend to speed while you are driving, and look for areas where most pedestrians walk or cross the road. Report your findings to your community leaders to give them data that they can act on in the future.
7. Offer free carpooling services for people who live close by and work similar hours.
Each car can produce up to 4.6 metrics tons of carbon dioxide annually, and that does not even include other harmful greenhouse gasses such as methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbon emissions. Carpooling can help reduce traffic and pollution in your community significantly. In addition, it’s a great way to create and strengthen relationships with fellow community members. Members of a tightly knit community will always have people that they can rely on when they are in need!
8. Create a community garden.
This is a great way to get to know your neighbors and beautify your neighborhood all at the same time! In addition, your local community garden can provide a lot of benefits to the community based on how it is managed. For one, it can be used to provide fresh produce to food banks, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, or to the local community members themselves. Another way is to sell off the fresh pickings in another market or during a weekend market. The profits can then be used for other projects.
9. Become a mentor for a younger person in your community.
This could involve volunteering at a school or participating in a Big Brothers/Big Sisters-type program. You can contribute to the youth’s upbringing by instilling them with values or simply teaching them your own skills for work. Not only will this prepare them to be productive members of society, but it also gives them a role model to look up to and emulate.
10. Improve community water areas.
Community water areas such as fountains, rivers, and lakes are important areas for community recreational activities and socialization. As such, it is important to keep them clean. You can organize a monthly clean-up drive. In addition, you can organize events that promote these areas or raise funds for their clean-up, such as community barbecue weekends or riverside music performances. Additionally, another thing is to help your local community get clean water. If your community has resources, you can have UF filters installed into drinking fountains for free, clean drinking water. You can participate in cleaning them up, too!
It doesn’t take much to make your community a better place—just some time, effort, and goodwill! As a member of your community, you can do a lot of good, and you might be just what it needs to improve. Share any idea you have for local improvement today, and be the change you want to see in your community!