Why Neighborhood Volunteering Matters

Why Neighborhood Volunteering Matters

October 5th is National Do Something Nice Day, and people across the country will be taking the opportunity to buy someone else a morning coffee, lend a neighbor a helping hand, or call up that friend they haven’t spoken to in ages. This holiday reminds us to do those little acts of kindness that we’d ideally be doing every day, and can be a great reminder to give back to our local communities. Volunteering doesn’t have to be elaborate, extravagant, or far away: you may be able to do the most good right in your own backyard! 

Ways to Give Back to Your Neighborhood

If you’re looking for something nice to do for your neighborhood this October 5th (or any day), start by asking yourself of the needs of those in your community. Is there a community park overrun with weeds and untamed bushes? Grab some pruning shears and spend a few hours getting the place into shape. Are many people in your community living in poverty? Organize a food drive, offer a family an evening of free childcare, or buy a meal for the man on the street corner. Bringing a meal to a shut-in, mowing a neighbor’s lawn, or sending flowers “just because” are all beautiful ways you can light up another person’s day.

Get Connected 

If you’re not sure how to help in your neighborhood, partner with a local community center. Churches, senior centers, schools, and neighborhood after-school programs are always looking for volunteers for activities and projects, so give reach out and find out how you can help. Libraries are also a great resource, both for connecting you with other organizations, and for providing volunteer opportunities. Volunteer to help on an ongoing activity, facilitate an arts and crafts project, or read a story to little ones at your local library. 

Older adults often struggle with decreased independence and may feel overlooked in the community. If there are any seniors in your neighborhood living alone, offer to bring by a homecooked meal, help with some light house and yard work, or just come spend the afternoon with them. When neighbors know one another and are connected, everyone becomes more invested in making the neighborhood a better place, and members of the community are happier and safer. 

Don’t Forget the Little Things 

An act of kindness doesn’t have to be complex or planned – small gestures can be just as meaningful. This October 5th, try to make a point of being kind whenever an opportunity presents itself: say “hello” and “thank you” to people you may tend to ignore, leave your waiter a generous tip, give your neighbor a hand carrying in the groceries, and tell the people close to you that you love them. Surprise your spouse with a massage or impromptu date night, or by doing the chores yourself so he or she comes home to a sparkling clean house at the end of the day. If it’s been some time since your home’s last deep cleaning, and it needs attention, contact our friendly, professional team at COIT. We’re happy to get your air ducts cleared, stains removed from your carpet and upholstery, and dust vacuumed from drapes for a house that will look, feel, and smell fresh. On October 5th and every day, going out of our way to do something kind strengthens our relationships, and our communities.