Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

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Radical Volunteerism: How to Serve Your Community On Any Level

When you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, it’s easy to get bogged down by the countless options. But you don’t have to join the Peace Corps or donate a large sum of money to make a positive impact on the world. Let’s get back to our roots and look at some ways to serve the community you currently live in.

Studies show that volunteering not only helps ward off depression, but could lower blood pressure and even promote a longer lifespan. But you don’t have to formally volunteer to reap these mental and physical rewards.

Informal volunteering, like helping out a family member, cleaning up trash in your neighborhood, or just being a good citizen, will still benefit you. Some say volunteering in any capacity benefits the giver even more than the recipients.

Here are some ways you can serve your company no matter where you’re at in life.

Assist in Your Own Neighborhood

One of the best ways to serve your local community is to help around your own neighborhood. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Offer to help a neighbor paint or repair their home.
  • Pick up trash around the neighborhood.
  • Use your talents to enhance the aesthetics of your neighborhood, like painting a mural or building a little free library.
  • Organize a neighborhood event that benefits a local cause.
  • Offer to help neighbors rake up leaves or winterize their gardens.
  • Be an advocate for diversity and inclusivity in your neighborhood.
  • Start a community garden then donate the produce and flowers to elderly and disabled neighbors.

Donate to a Local Charity

No matter where you live, there are local charities around you in need. A simple search will help you find organizations in your area, but here are some easy suggestions that are always needed.

Interested in saving a life? Donate blood or plasma to your nearest American Red Cross or any other donation center. Consider this generous form of giving especially if you have a rare blood type like O negative.

Your local organizations are always in need of your time. In 2016, volunteer time was worth approximately $24.14 per hour. Your time is valued and there’s no better way to spend it than helping a worthy cause.

If you have the means, another great way to serve your community is to donate food, clothing, and school supplies.

Support a Friend in Need

Maybe one of your friends is going through a divorce, or a family member is a single-parent struggling to get by. These people need your emotional support and encouragement. A visit from a friendly face and someone to talk to could be all they need.

You could even help with Christmas gifts for a parent struggling to make a happy Christmas on one income. You could also help a struggling family by hosting them for a home-cooked meal.

These are just some of the many ways you can serve your community and even benefit your own health. You don’t have to fix every challenge facing your community. You can make a difference on any level.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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