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How to Make a Positive Difference in Your Community

(Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

Community is a vital part of being human, and nowadays, it can feel more precious and rare than ever. In a time when many people often feel disconnected and lonely, despite the prevalence of social media and online connections, building a real community can be of enormous benefit to everyone around you.

If you’re feeling the call to have a stronger and more positive community in your life, then it might be time to take some steps to help build it. Here are a few great ways that you can make a great difference to your community, and set the foundations for a long-lasting future for you all.

Be a mentor to younger or less experienced people

You’ve probably gained a lot of knowledge in your career and life over the years, by learning to cope with life’s many challenges, in every arena. While it might have been a struggle at times, the fact is, you’ve made it through to the other side and have some invaluable insights from your journey.

Being a mentor to others who are less experienced can be a hugely rewarding step and a great way to make a positive impact. You can offer to share your skills and know-how in a variety of ways, for instance, by offering classes or skill sessions to help others get started, or by working with someone one on one.

Building a mentoring relationship with someone doesn’t just have a positive effect on the mentee’s life. While it’s a great way of helping someone else to develop the skills needed to succeed with life’s difficulties, it can also be a great opportunity for you to grow, emotionally and professionally.

Working as a mentor can help you find a sense of purpose in your own life, as well as give you the tools to listen to others more effectively. And you might also learn a bit more about the changing world by discovering how it looks through someone else’s eyes.

Take steps to improve others’ well-being

Health and wellness are invaluable qualities in any community, and it’s important to see yourself represented in these areas. Knowing that there are people like you in the fields of medicine, healthcare or fitness can be a highly positive factor and encourage others to take part in doing more positive things to stay well.

If you’re keen on health and wellbeing, then you might want to take a look at a potential career in these areas. There are several pathways in this sector, such as a doctorate of nursing program for a career in medicine or nursing, or the option to train as a fitness coach.

The advantage of these courses is that they can often be balanced with existing careers, allowing you to take the time to develop them on the side, without having to invest a huge amount of time into them.

Volunteer in your community

If a full-scale career switch isn’t a realistic prospect for you, then volunteering in your community instead can be a great alternative, and still provide you with the fulfilling experience of making a practical difference.

There are usually plenty of options to volunteer, depending on what you’d like to help and offer with. For those who love working with people, you may want to volunteer with youth centers or homeless shelters, where you can get involved in a variety of tasks, such as cooking meals or teaching essential skills or classes.

You may also be able to offer your own skills to others who cannot afford them ordinarily. If you’re a gifted carpenter or tradesperson, then you may be able to volunteer to help carry out simple home repairs to low-income families, to help them enjoy a more comfortable and safer home.

If working with people isn’t your forte, then you can also volunteer behind the scenes, by helping improve the management of various community organizations and activities. Fundraising or social media management for a youth group, senior home or other space can be a great way to put your skills and energy back into the community around you.

Shop in your local area

One of the simplest ways to make a great difference to your community is by putting your money into it. This doesn’t always have to be in the form of charity, although donations and fundraising can often be hugely beneficial to non-profit bodies.

Take a look at the local stores and businesses in your community and make the effort to find out more about them. Many smaller independent businesses often struggle to compete against larger bodies, as they lack the funding and resources to advertise as effectively, and can often end up losing out.

So next time you need to shop for a new outfit or use a service, take the time to look into what is on offer through the people around you, and put a little of that energy back into helping those businesses thrive.

Organize a community clean up

The space you live in can make a huge impact on your mental and physical state, and if it looks and feels good, then chances are, you’ll feel better too.

If your community has a problem with pollution, graffiti or littering, take the time to organize a community clean up. This can be an amazing way of bringing people together and getting to know your neighbors that will make a lasting positive impact on your neighborhood.

You don’t need a lot of resources to do this – just the practical tools and materials to help clean or dispose of garbage. Once you’ve done it, you may even want to have a regular session to help keep the community in good shape, as well as providing everyone with a chance to get together.

After cleaning up, be sure to allow everyone to enjoy each other’s community. A shared meal or a drink together to celebrate the moment can be a great way.