My mom has always set an amazing example about how to be a great community member. For as long as I can remember, she has been helping people and involved in groups in our local community however she can. She has been involved in numerous committees at our church, and helped out at school. She shares our green thumb with neighbours who are older, and loves to guerrilla garden anywhere that it looks like might need her help.
Talk about using your time, talent and treasure to help others. As a busy working mom of two, I try to give back in whatever way I can. It is a challenging endeavor to balance. I am surrounded by many great volunteers through my work and community who inspire me to help where I can as well.
So here are my top four tips on how to get more involved and give up back in your community this year.
How To Get More Involved in Your Community
1. Pick a Cause You Love
Fond memories of the Girl Guides of Canada program that you went to as a kid? Or maybe it was the sport coach who made a big difference in your life. Go back and be the caring adult in another individual’s life.
Did you know the 40 Development Assets on how resilient young leaders are made state that caring adults beyond family members make a huge difference. Young leaders that have 5 of more caring adults in their life are more likely to be successful in school and life. These adults create a barrier between risky behaviours like alcohol and drug use.
Picking an activity that you love will make it fun. It will bring the nostalgia of those stories back to you. So recruit a friend who did Girl Guides or sports with you too. We need a few more caring adults who remember what a difference these programs made to them.
2. You Don’t Have to be President
I can’t tell you how many non-profit and sport group meetings I’ve attended where no one wants to volunteer. We seem to have this twisted view if we put our hand up to commit to help with something at our local organization, somehow we will wind up President. No one can vote you in as President unless you accept the nomination. So breathe a little easier, and take on a task.
It doesn’t have to be a member of the board. Ask a board member how you can help, or see a need in the program your child is attending and help with it. It’s that simple. Whether you show up with an item for the preschool Halloween party, or you volunteer once a month – it’s all necessary. It all makes a difference. Do what you can.
3. Use Your Talents
We all have our own version of skills that can be used in the community. Anything from graphic design to accounting can greatly help a local community organization. Some of the best leaders I know do not have any skills, however they are gifted at enthusiasm and knowing how to call on others to come and help. All skills are useful, and all gifts can be used.
4. Look for the Opportunity
Without a doubt in my mind, I can tell you there are already amazing ways to volunteer in your community that you’re overlooking. Volunteer Centre of Canada can help you find your local volunteer center or take a quiz to see what type of volunteering is right for you.
Ask around at the places you’re already attending. If your child is involved in sport or community activities, ask how you can help. (Keep in mind your time is so much more valuable then your dollars).
5. Be a Great Leader
Be a great example to your children – who knows, maybe one day they will be writing this post talking about your sterling example. (You gotta know my mom is getting a huge kick out of this one).
More and more volunteer organizations are coming up with positions that you can do with your family in tow. So unplug your kid from their electronic devices and show them how to give back.
a passionate recreation coordinator by day, crazy farm mama of two by night. i live outdoors: growing my own food, camping and hiking with my border collie with two active kids in tow. when I’m not writing, I’m experimenting with recipes, and crafts – or anything else that might keep the monkeys entertained.