You can join a non-profit like Big Brothers, Big Sisters or bring the child of a family friend under your wing – Either way, mentoring is a great way to provide guidance, support and encouragement to a person. They may not have anyone around that can show them how to apply for college or write a resume or how to overcome issues they’re facing in school. Being that person who they can lean on could change their life.
Small businesses stimulate economic growth and create jobs. By supporting them, you’re keeping your money in your community. Instead of going to dealerships all over town, purchase a car from your neighbor that works at one. Instead of buying a home from a realtor you found online, work with someone in your community that owns a real estate company. Instead of buying your groceries from Walmart, purchase them from the mom and pop grocery store in your community. Supporting small businesses could go a long way.
If everyone in each neighborhood made an effort to get to know each other – imagine the effect it would have on our communities. Building community comradery could decrease crime, violence and drug distribution. If you see someone struggling to take their groceries in the house, offer to help, if you see your elderly neighbor sitting on her porch, go over there and talk to her, if you see some kids throwing around a football, join in and teach them a few moves from your college days. Get to know each other – it helps and it works.
Sports programs help the community by instilling the importance of health, discipline and teamwork in children. The organizations also help children make friends with others that share similar interests and put them in a position to possibly earn college scholarships further down the line.
Gather your friends, colleagues, family members, and classmates of all different races, ages and genders, with different socioeconomic backgrounds, political views, jobs, etc. and agree to have a discussion group once a month where you openly talk about issues plaguing society. Be sure to have a moderator that can drive the conversation, ask questions and diffuse any heated debates. You won’t agree on everything, but it will help you understand other opinions and perspectives and teach you ways to better deal with others who have different views.
Pull your friends, family and colleagues together for a community clean-up. In the process, other adults and kids are sure to tag in. You’ll meet new people and have a lot of fun while positively impacting your community.
Speaking at your former grade school or college is a great way to give back. You never know how inspirational your story is until you share it with someone else – especially someone who is sitting where you once did.
Find a cause that you’re passionate about and donate to it.
If you’re not in a position to donate money, give time.
Not every child has a parent at home that asks if they have completed their homework or if they need help with it. Tutoring someone will allow you the opportunity to teach a child about the importance of education and help keep them from falling behind in school. Other ways to tutor are to work with people for SAT prep, GRE prep, LSAT prep, MCAT prep, etc.
Baltimore has a rich arts and theatre history that survives from donations and volunteers. You can support local arts organizations by donating to a museum, attending a local play or donating to an art exhibit.
Letter writing campaigns are a great way for the voices of the community to be heard by their government officials. Gather your neighbors and openly discuss some of your opinions and concerns. Write them down and mail them to your local politicians.
The best way to get anything done is in a well-planned, concise and organized way. Homeowners associations provide that structure to neighborhoods. Starting one or joining way is a great way to start enacting positive change in your community.
If you just got a new 60” flat screen TV for Christmas, donate your old one to someone in your neighborhood. Or, if your children have grown out of last year’s clothes, donate them to a family in your community who may really need them. You can even do something as easy as inviting another neighborhood family over for spaghetti night if you know there’s going to be more than enough to go around.
Baltimore has a huge homeless population and with cooler temperatures looming in the next few months, a little help can go a long way. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen or a shelter or donate blankets, sweaters and scarfs for the winter – anything helps.
Start Making Your Impact Today!