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Volunteer Ideas: 16 Ways to Make a Real Difference in Your Community

Volunteer ideas give you a head-start in your journey for a better neighborhood and a better community. Your good deeds will rub off on others and you will be promoting a positive change that this world so desperately needs.

Volunteer ideas

Who could have thought giving back to the community could be so much fun? Start up something new and rewarding in your life by doing some volunteer work. The great thing about giving back is, you don't need to sign up or ask anyone's permission. You can just go out and start doing it.

beauty pageant winner

Ways to make a difference in your community

1. Mow lawns

2. Wash cars

3. Adopt animals

4. Visit elderly

5. Pick trash

6. Plant gardens

7. Neighborhood watches

8. Recycle everything

9. Donate toys

10. Give away old clothes

11. Food drives

12. Clean up graffiti

13. Greet neighbors

14. Donate blood

15. Help someone in need

16. Gifts

Volunteer Ideas that can Transform any Boring Life into One of Self-Fulfillment and Enrichment Through Dedicating One's Time to Helping People

Start making a real difference today. Try out a few of these volunteer ideas to cement your place in other people's hearts forever.

1. Mow your neighbor's lawn

Just one random act of kindness that is always appreciated. Ask to borrow their lawn mower, put on your allergy mask, and get to work. That 30 minutes of labor will leave your heart feeling satisfied, and of course your neighbor will appreciate the gesture.

lawn mower
Classic goodwill

The classic act of goodwill is to rent a lawnmower and just touring the town and mowing anywhere you see with long grass for no cost. Just make sure that they know you are mowing it beforehand, and insist that there is no charge so that you can get the good feeling from helping people with no-strings attached.

2. Organize a car wash for a local charity

Get some friends to help and use the proceeds to help others in need. A car wash is an easy and simple way to give back to your community. Make those cars squeaky clean.

car washing
Neighborhood car wash

Organizing a car wash is hard work to do on your own. It takes teamwork and a helping hand to get those cars squeaky clean. Charity car washes are a splendid ways to help your community, and are also a great way to have fun and meet new people. Make sure your neighborhood never has to pay for another car wash again.

3. Adopt an animal

Having a cute pet reduces stress. If you have always wanted an animal but can't afford one, head over to your local animal shelter and save one of those poor puppies or kittens. Who knows? They might actually be a good addition to the family.

stray cat
Saving lives

You are truly saving a life with this act of kindness. Adopting an animal from the local shelter is a lot better for your community improvement ideas than just buying one at the pet store. Arguably, the cats and dogs at the animal shelter are also the cuter ones. Just my own opinion on the matter.

4. Visit a nursing home

Many of the elderly living at nursing homes don't get enough love from their children and grand-children. Be the one who brightens up their day with an unexpected visit to say hello. Stranger or not, many of them are lonely and appreciate your presence.

keeping elderly woman company
Brighten their days

You may not understand yet how much you are making a change in your community by visiting your local nursing home, but believe me there is nothing better than seeing the smiles on their faces. Grandmothers and grandfathers are neglected more often than not. Everyone needs love. Be the one to give it to them for free, and it will brighten both yours and their days.

5. Pick up trash

Volunteering your time doesn't need to be elaborate, and contrary to popular belief; it doesn't need to go noticed. The satisfaction you gain from something as simple as cleaning up your dirty streets is the only reason you need. In fact, it's even more satisfying when you do it with someone else. It makes great cheap date idea.

picking trash
It's our responsibility

If only more people gave to the cause of cleaning up the environment, the world would be a better place. Maintenance wouldn't require much effort at all if everyone pitched in. Then we wouldn't even need sanitation services or jobs being made just around cleaning up the Earth. Cleaning up the Earth should be our responsibility, not only an obligation.

6. Plant a garden in your backyard

lone tree

This volunteer idea serves the same noble purpose as planting trees. As well as being good for your health from the food you grow, you are also providing a greener atmosphere for the earth. If only everyone understood the importance of having a garden.

Environment first

The environment is always important. For most people it's not important until it becomes a problem. The point of keeping the environment clean is to prevent it from being a problem. Because then once our world becomes trashed, we have no other option but to live in a lower-quality place. Planting a tree is a proactive approach and is adding something positive rather than taking something away from your neighborhood.

7. Start a neighborhood watch program

clark kent woman

If your neighborhood didn't have one already, make it a little bit safer and rally together your neighbors to become more unified in the effort to keep away intruders.

Get everyone involved

The entire neighborhood is safer when united. Nothing is worse for an improving neighborhoods' unity than a neighbor who can't get with the program. Make sure everyone is involved if you want the neighborhood watch program to be effective.

8. Recycle

recycled water bottles

It's so easy to recycle. By far the easiest way to make a difference in not only your community but the world. Yet, only a small percentage of people do it regularly.

Natural Earth

It's the small things that make a big difference. Sorting out your recyclables from burnable garbage helps restore the Earth to its natural state. By failing to do so you are only contributing to the further degeneration of the environment and your neighborhood.

9. Donate your old toys to the nearest orphanage

tundra teddy

Think of how happy you will make these children. You will be their savior and you can be rest-assured that they won't take your donation for granted. When you donate to most charities you aren't sure where your money goes. The best way is to see for yourself the smiles on their faces when they start playing with the toys.

Don't look back

You aren't using them anymore, right? Well one man's trash is another kid's treasure, I always say. Donate your old toys and don't look back. You are passing on your memories to someone who can still make use of them. There is no greater act of goodwill.

10. Give away your old clothes to the nearest homeless shelter

before and after closet
Clean your closet and clothe the homeless

How long has it been since you cleaned your closet?
Give your old clothes to the people who need them the most. You don't use them anymore anyways right? If you sometimes feel bad about never giving up your money to the homeless people around town, ease that guilt by giving up things you don't need anymore.

11. Take part in a food drive

Set up collection bins around town and gather large amounts of food for the needy. If you are unable to set up a program yourself, take part in one as there are many happening in all communities.

12. Paint over graffiti

Grab some paint and get rid of all that ugly graffiti around town. Street art is like spider-webs, just seeing it breeds more and makes your neighborhood less pleasant to live in.

13. Welcome new neighbors with a gift basket

This volunteer idea is highly under-estimated and under-utilized in today's society. Nothing welcomes new faces to the community quite like receiving a gift from your neighbors. If nobody in your neighborhood did it for you, be the one to start. Eventually, your kindness will spread and you will make an impact on the future residents of your neighborhood. You want your community to have a good reputation, always.

14. Become a blood donor

This volunteer idea is actually one I have never done before, and one I will never do. Needles creep me out. But if it doesn't bother you, more power to you. You are donating blood for a worthy cause, especially if your blood type is rare. And if you live in a small community, the life you save could potentially end up being someone you know.

15. Help an old lady cross the street

Okay, this one is cliche, I know. But they could use your help, and you should offer it in any way possible. In fact, the key to volunteering your time is to always be aware of your surroundings. Anyone that looks in distress, go out of your way to see if they need your help. Opportunities arise at the times we least expect.

16. Make gifts

Lastly, use your free time for gift-making. It is a lot more rewarding than gift-giving, which is mostly bought and doesn't show the care to attention that making gifts does. Your gifts can be custom-made for each person, which is more rewarding. The gift may not be extravagant, but you can be sure they will know that your heart is in the right place.

How to give back to your community

There are many ways to give back to your community. Start out small with your neighborhood and work your way up to your entire town. Soon you'll be on a first-name basis with your community. The good deeds you do for others will give you the self-gratification one needs to become a productive member of society.

By Kacia Nall

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