4 Ways to Support Your Community

by | May 15, 2021 | Lifestyle

Now more than ever, local communities need the help and support of the people who live and work there. National and state mandates for the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the landscape of commerce by forcing businesses to rethink their models and strategies to support take-out and online shopping options. While we all hope we will be able to return to life as we used to live, the support shown for community resources should persevere!

1. Shop Local

Small and local businesses are the backbone of our communities. Ordering take-out options from local restaurants is an easy way to keep your dollars in your city or town. Research which of your favorite non-chain eateries are offering pick-up options. Food delivery services like DoorDash® and UberEats™ are great ways to get your food without leaving your home. Plus, you are supporting local people delivering them. Win-win!

Look beyond restaurants for community gyms, bookstores, craft, and hobby shops to frequent. And don’t forget your local libraries, which often hold fun events with free activities for kids and teens. Many libraries are offering online events and activities to keep those at home included. Let your dollar show which businesses you want to succeed.

2. Vote in Local Elections

National elections get major media coverage because the story applies to so many people, but the local government decides state and local policy for your day-to-day life far more frequently. Decisions on K-12 school policies, local public transportation, and building license requests are made by locally elected officials.

Have you ever heard your townspeople say, “This is not the same town we moved to 15 years ago”? Local government and elections play a huge part in the changing of community values and priorities. Be attentive to local news and make sure to let your voice be heard in local elections.

3. Support Local Charities and Causes

Local charities and causes are the unsung heroes of communities by helping those around them in times of hardship and crisis. Consider the needs of your local homeless shelter, crisis center, or food bank and what you can do to help.

Many charities need specific items and have a “wish list” you can use to help decide what to donate. Some even have an Amazon.com wish list so you can buy and have donations sent directly to them. Giving has never been easier. As you are spring cleaning your home, think about items you don’t want any more that could be recycled or put to good use. Consider whether donating them to an organization would help another person. Look for reputable nonprofits in your community who need help.

Think about volunteering for others. Whether it’s going to a soup kitchen a few times a month to serve meals or helping with a local event raising money for a cause, plenty of nonprofits are excited to have help. Resources like VolunteerMatch, Engage, and IdeaList are great resources if you need some help finding a place to start!

4. Love Your Neighbors

Sometimes the most obvious solution is the one we forget about most. Have you met your neighbors? Do you know who lives in the apartment next to yours? Have you attempted to know them more than just a wave in passing? Neighbors keeping an eye out for each other’s welfare is the core of strong communities.

It’s common to be nervous to meet your neighbors, especially if it’s been a few years since either of you moved in. It can be easier if you have a reason to go meet them. Take over some homemade treats, friendly conversation, or mail accidentally delivered to your home instead of theirs. If you recently moved in, this is a natural opportunity to get acquainted. Find commonalities, like kids’ ages or pets. This can start a foundation for a symbiotic friendship that you can lean onto and into.

The digital age of social media has connected the world in unprecedented ways, but often is leaving local communities wanting support. You can be the change and help others too. By supporting local establishments, you are safeguarding the future.

What will you do to support your community? Share with us in the comments below!