NBSB Suggests Tips on How to Be a Community Giver when Money is Tight
Being involved to help make your local community the best it can be or to help its local members in need is something that is not only rewarding for your community, but it could also improve your overall well-being. It’s a win for everyone. So, although you may not have the funds in your account to donate to the cause at this exact moment, that is okay. There are plenty of other ways you can contribute so you can make a difference and an impact.
Volunteer Your Time
There are never enough paid workers to do all of the work that needs to be done for a community and that is when volunteers make an important entrance. Many local towns have committees to help with various town needs. These committees can be assembled to help with food pantry management, organizing community fundraising, managing town-wide clean ups, creating a community garden, fixing up a local playground and the list goes on.
There are also non-profits established for helping those in need and many of them could use volunteer assistance to help them meet their mission. To find a non-profit nearby, you can look up non-profits by geography on GuideStar.org and confirm they are worthy of your time on CharityNavigator.org. Volunteer Match is also a great resource that “matches inspiring people with inspiring causes”.
Share Your Strengths
Volunteering is a fantastic way to get yourself involved in the community to make your mark and make a difference. However, for it to be most fulfilling, it helps if you are able to share a specific skill that you excel at and enjoy. Are you a graphic designer? See if a local fundraiser event needs someone to design their event poster and graphics free of charge. Are you an accountant? Maybe a local non-profit is in desperate need of someone to help manage their finances. Whatever your talent is align it closely with an organization close to your heart and you will always do your best work.
Donate a Created Item or Services for Auction
Many fundraising events auction off items or hold raffles to help raise money. It gives an extra allure to the event and allows donations to be made that are not cash but still have plenty of value.
If you are the creative type you can contribute your handmade craft item to be raffled or auctioned off. Locally made and handcrafted items are becoming more and more appealing to consumers. Items such as handmade quilts, handcrafted jewelry, locally made soaps, flower arrangements, pottery made by a local potter, or handcrafted wood furniture are popular items in an auction.
You can also share your professional services for auction or raffle items at a fundraiser. For example, a landscaper can offer a certificate for 6 months of lawn care, a photographer can offer a free photography session, an auto shop can offer a complimentary oil change with tire rotation and a local spa can offer a free 60-minute deep tissue massage.
Be Vocal, Make the Change, Vote
If you see a change that needs to be made in your community what better way to start that change by using your voice. The number one way this can be done is by voting for who represents your beliefs. This can be done every four years, of course, but it is also important that you vote at local elections for your government representatives, since they are the ones who directly affect your everyday life.
Another way to share what you have to say is by contacting your representatives by phone, letter and email. Let them know what is important to you. Social media can also be a platform for amplifying your voice, however you want to be sure you are not just being a keyboard warrior but instead effectively engaging in dialogue that will actually make and promote change. Protests, gatherings in support of a cause and marches are additional ways to make your voice heard when done in good taste and with the support and guidance of local officials and law enforcement.
Share Emotional Support and Be Kind
On a smaller, but intensely important scale, one way you can make a difference is by being kind and giving emotional support to those around you. With tough times surrounding us, many around us are struggling. They may be doing this quietly, meaning that you do not even know. It is always important to share kindness because like North Brookfield Savings Bank’s Core Value of Share Kindness states, one small act of kindness can make a further impact than we know.
Emotional support can come in many forms. It can simply be asking how someone is doing when someone seems down, listening to their concerns or by simply letting someone know that you are there for them if they want to talk. You could end up being a safe space for someone who really needed support.
Bottom line, there is so much more to making a difference than simply giving money. While financial contributions are obviously incredibly important, it does not mean you cannot contribute effectively to your local community or the world in other ways.
Remember, help is always needed. Find your cause, get out there, make your mark, make a difference and just be kind.