Having a sense of community and belonging wherever you are can be an extremely important part of life. Whether you’re moving to a new place, want to get involved in your hometown or you simply want to find a sense of belonging wherever you are, there are so many ways that you can unite your community and participate in the growth of your home. Whether you live in an urban metropolis or a small suburban town, uniting your community is a worthwhile effort, both for you and your family, as well as the community at large. Here are a few thoughtful ways that you can get involved.
If you have a child that’s currently school-aged, one of the best ways to get involved in your community is participating in school programs and activities. Even if your child is a little older, volunteering for after-school programs, the Parent-Teacher Association and even education assistance if you have the resources to do so can be extremely helpful to the community — especially because children are the future, and building a strong community begins with them.
The library is another community space with so many resources and places to connect, so it’s no wonder why communities flourish with the help of a robust library. Whether you have kids or you want to get involved on your own, libraries offer all kinds of programs like storytime sessions for kids, book clubs, language learning societies, volunteer opportunities and even resource-finding programs for underserved populations. If you want to help unite your community wherever you are, think about hitting the books.
Playgrounds are another great place to bring your community together. Playgrounds have so many benefits for all different kinds of families, it’s no wonder why they contribute so heavily to healthy, thriving communities. Not only does going to the playground offer individual family bonding, but it also promotes physical wellness, promotes economic growth within the community, offers spaces to connect and, of course, provides a space for the kids to play. Seems like an all-around great deal.
If your community already has a community garden, it can be fantastic to get involved in whatever they’re growing over there. However, if your community doesn’t have one yet, this can be your opportunity to get one started! Community gardening doesn’t just bring people together — it does so much more than that! When you grow food with the members of your community, you’re promoting health and wellness, outdoor time, community connection — plus, providing fresh food to the members of your community. Of course, getting a community garden started can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re new to gardening, but it’s important to try new things and get involved however you can.
Although this method of uniting your community is a bit more general, it’s definitely one of the most important things to consider. There are so many volunteer opportunities in nearly any community — from animal shelters to after-school programs, and everything in between. Think about what kinds of organizations you’re passionate about — your community likely has one or more of them, and most places are always on the lookout for a helping hand or two. See where your community needs you most and step up accordingly. You may find a true vocation for helping others along the way.
If volunteering for any one organization is a bit too much for your schedule at the moment, that doesn’t mean you can’t lend a hand in your community or neighborhood. In fact, some of the best work in uniting any community is done by thoughtful residents simply looking out for one another. And one of the best ways to get involved in your neighborhood is to do a little community clean-up. Of course, you can start by cleaning your own space, lawn and home, but you can extend that to the rest of your neighborhood, too. Start small — picking up trash, tidying public spaces and other small acts like that. Then, you can extend it further as you feel comfortable.
One of the most important ways that you can participate in your local community and bring people together is to simply be neighborly and friendly with those around you. Get to know the people in your neighborhood. Host events and invite people around. Make conversation with the people you see out and about. Say hello to those around you. All of those small acts can contribute to a neighborly environment around you and bind your community together.
Whether you’re involved in your community already, you’re new in town or you’ve had a spark of inspiration to bring a bit more neighborly spirit into your community, there are so many thoughtful ways to approach it. By volunteering, getting involved and showing up for your neighborhood in all the spaces it has to offer, you can connect with those around you and better your community every day.
Kara Reynolds is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Momish Magazine. Mom and step mom living her best life while managing anxiety and normalizing blended families. She enjoys pilates, podcasts, and a nice pinot grigio.
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