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Powerful impact by Carla Lopez

Powerful and Practical Ways to Support Your Community Your community is important – it offers belonging and safety and has played a major role in making you the person you are today. Then there’s the fact that it significantly impacts the kind of lifestyle you lead. It’s natural to want to support it and make it a better place for you, your family, and future generations.
In this guide, The Cooperative Opportunity Project (we’re a non-profit supporting underserved communities) offers some practical suggestions on how you can make a difference in your community – without necessarily spending money or overextending yourself:
What cause is most meaningful to you?
You probably already feel strongly about something, be it voter rights, the environment, education, or kids. Pick a cause that matters the most to you (anyone you think would best help the community), and then volunteer your time and energy in support. Joining an organization is a worthwhile option, but you could also go it alone if you like.
Practical ways to give back
Below, we offer some impactful ways you could make a difference in your community:
Feed your community
Local soup kitchens, churches, and other organizations are always looking for volunteers who can help prepare, pack, and distribute meals to the homeless and families living in poverty. For many people, such meals are their primary source of sustenance, as StandUp Wireless can confirm, so you’ll be doing critical work.
Educate by assisting a school or tutoring students
Grooming minds is as important as feeding bodies. By helping out at your local school or tutoring kids – whether that’s by being a teaching assistant, manning the library, or helping with the homework – you can help provide future generations with the solid educational foundation they need to succeed.
Consider becoming a full-time teacher
As Nelson Mandela put it, education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. If you’re truly passionate about education, you can go a step further and make a massive difference to your community by becoming a full-time teacher. There is great job growth in teaching, making it a solid long-term career option.
A BSED is a prerequisite for working with preschoolers and elementary-aged children. If you want to learn at your own pace and need flexibility, you could pursue a BSED online. Online coursework is convenient to access and gives you room to look after your work and life responsibilities.
Befriend your neighbors
When you’re burdened with responsibilities and don’t have the energy to spare for volunteering, you could still help your community – and yourself – simply by befriending your neighbors. For example, seniors are often lonely and don’t often have friends and family to visit. Bonding with you will make them happy, and it will give you some emotional support as well.
Support a medical cause
There are multiple medical-related causes you can support – and sometimes you’d be saving lives. For example, blood drives collect blood for patients who need it urgently, and cancer drives educate and raise funds for people suffering from the condition. With the nation’s psychological health on the decline, mental health initiatives have also become commonplace recently, and could also use your assistance.
Get everyone in shape with some exercise
Hosting a group exercise session, like Pilates or yoga, weekly is a great way to help people around you. Sedentary lifestyles are a growing problem, and sometimes people need a push to look after their physical health. Such an initiative could help you as much as everyone else – you’ll get to stay in shape, and have an easier time staying on track with your workout resolution.
Wrapping up
Everything you do to help – no matter how big or small – makes a difference. You may not be able to change the world alone, but you can change the world for one person. All the goodwill you put out is sorely needed in this day and age. To make a bigger impact or just for inspiration, you can partner up with the people who are already actively helping the community at
Image via Unsplash