A strong community is built upon the efforts of individuals who decide to dedicate their energy and resources to the betterment of that community. A sense of community is truly driven by such people who are invested in seeing their community grow and improve. There are so many facets to helping a community improve, though, that it can be difficult to know exactly how and where your personal strengths and qualities would be best put to use.
While it is always a good idea to consult with people who are already making a difference in your community to see where there might be a void that needs filling, there are a number of proactive steps that anyone who is interested in making a different in their community can take. Here are a few suggestions of such steps that can help make you more prepared and equipped to make a difference in your community.
Pursue Higher Education
Since a strong community needs strong leaders, anyone looking to get involved for the long haul should certainly consider pursuing higher education. The skills and knowledge that you gain in the pursuit of an advanced degree will help give you the tools that you need in order to make a real difference.
While your particular area of study might depend upon the experience and education that you already have, there are some areas that are a bit more general. For example, a degree in leadership would be applicable to a path wherein you are striving to help your community grow. Every community needs strong leaders to spearhead improvement efforts, and a degree in leadership can help you to become one of those leaders.
The options available to anyone looking to earn an advanced degree are varied. You should look to find a degree program that suits your current situation and that will help you reach your goals in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Online education is an extremely viable option for people looking to pursue higher education for a number of reasons.
A degree program like the ones offered at ECU Online, for instance, provide students with access to quality courses taught by highly capable professors all from the comfort of their own home. Furthermore, online education is one of the more affordable options for anyone looking to earn an advanced degree. With your degree in leadership, you will be ready and able to help out in your community and to make a true difference.
Patronise Local Businesses
One thing that anyone can do in order to make a positive difference in their community is to make a habit out of shopping at and patronising local businesses. Your neighbours in your community put their heart and soul into the businesses that they run. By patronising these businesses, you not only show those neighbours that you appreciate their own dedication to their community, but you also contribute to your local economy.
The businesses and restaurants that operate within a community are what give it character and personalisation. Without these businesses every single community would have identical amenities in the form of chain restaurants and big box stores. While such businesses certainly have their place, a community reflects its personality through its local businesses. Do your part as often as you are able to help give these smaller businesses a bit of a boost so that they can continue to operate and thrive.
Start Going to Community Meetings
A lot of important information is given out at community meetings. Unfortunately, such meetings are often sparsely attended. You can help make a difference in your community by attending these meetings and encouraging your friends and neighbours do the same. It can be difficult for local leaders and those who volunteer their time to make a community better to put change into effect without the input and efforts of others in the community.
By attending these meetings, you will be kept up to date with the goings on of your community and be presented with more opportunities to get involved and make a difference. You might very well learn about some more ways to get involved so that you can make a difference.
If there aren’t already regular meetings being held within your community, see if there is a way to start them up. You can contact your local city council to see if this would be a possibility and where the best place to hold such meetings might be. Once you get the word out and generate interest, you can start making a positive difference for your community.
Organise a Charitable Event
Charitable events are an excellent way to get people together in a coordinated effort to contribute to a cause directly effecting your community. Such events need leadership and organisation, though. This is where you come it.
If you want to keep things simple, you don’t have to reach out to your city council or local governors. You can simply get together with a few neighbours to clean up a local park or collect clothes for those in need. If you want to think bigger, though, the possibilities are endless.
Start by identifying a group or area within your community that could benefit from some aid. Perhaps you have an animal shelter that is overrun or in need or repairs. Why not organise a fundraiser geared towards raising money for those animals? Do you know of a food bank in your community that is in need of donations? Assemble a team to coordinate a food drive on a larger scale.
You can get the word out about your charitable event easily via social media and ads in local publications. Make sure that if you are working towards helping a particular organisation you get in touch with the people who are already involved. By working directly with an organisation, you can find out exactly what their needs are and the best manner in which you can help them fill those needs.