8 Simple Ways to Support Your Local Community

8 Simple Ways to Support Your Local Community

As individuals, families, and businesses around the world struggle in challenging economic times, shopping locally is becoming a trend. According to data collected by Capital One, more than 90% of American shoppers spent money at small and local businesses in 2023. If you want to support your local community, there’s more you can do than simply shopping locally. We have eight ideas to help you make a difference.

1. Donate to Local Pantries

Many churches and community organizations have food pantries or banks that provide food to the needy. Some also provide emergency intervention for families and individuals who need food immediately due to a crisis. They’re often short on food, especially with rising numbers of people in need.

2. Create or Fill a Blessing Box

Blessing boxes are like small pantries that contain shelf-stable food items for the needy and homeless. Individuals or groups place them in a convenient spot and fill them regularly. Anyone in need can collect items at any time. Find boxes in your community and contribute or start your own.

3. Eat Local

Enjoy snacks, meals, and drinks from small, independent establishments in your community. Not only do many local restaurants and cafes use fresher ingredients than fast-food chains, but they often have comparable prices. Plus, you just can’t beat the warm welcome that small businesses tend to give every customer.

4. Visit Homeless Camps with Handouts

Even small towns now have makeshift camps where homeless individuals and families live. There are also many unhoused community members living in cars or rotating between the homes of friends and family members. These people always need the basics like food, water, and school supplies.

5. Take Your Professional Skills to the Needy

What do you do for a living? Do you know how to do something that could benefit people who need a job or are struggling to raise their children and pay the bills? Your professional skills could help many others if you find a way to turn it into a free class or service. Contact local shelters and offer to give free lessons or classes.

6. Host a Charity Drive

Charity drives are community efforts to collect a resource that some are lacking. Some options may include a drive to collect toys, school supplies, coats, or canned goods. It may take some organization to spread the word, but the process of creating a charity drive is rewarding.

7. Join the School Board

If you have school-aged children, consider joining the school board. You’ll have more voice when it comes to important decisions that impact your child’s education. This is often an overlooked role that many parents enjoy once they get involved.

8. Deliver for Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is a nutritional outreach program that ensures the elderly community receives at least one hot meal a day. Volunteers are needed to deliver those meals to recipients. You’ll have a route in your local community and will get to greet and check on members of your community while helping to keep them fed.

Giving back to your community isn’t limited to your buying power. You can give your time, energy, and professional skills. Make a list of your skills, experiences, and interests. How can you turn those things into blessings for your community?