Life can be pretty hectic. It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day activities and ignore the community you live in. Although getting involved may seem time consuming and overwhelming at first, it can actually be easy and rewarding. Contributing to the community you live in can help you feel more at home in your neighborhood and give you opportunities to meet other members of the community. Here are some ideas to help you get involved!
Volunteer. One of the best ways to get involved is to volunteer for a local organization. With the current economic crisis, more groups are looking for volunteers to help out those in need. Instead of spending an evening watching TV, get out and make a difference. A contribution as small as a few hours a week can be significant. It’s also an awesome way to meet other community members and make connections. So check out your local community center, food bank or library and see if they’re looking for volunteers.
Take a Class. Remember how much fun art or music class was when you were a kid? Taking a class at a local community center can remind you how enjoyable learning new things can be. Most adult education centers offer a wide array of budget-friendly classes so there’s sure to be something that interests you. Whether it’s rock climbing, photography or pottery, learning something new with other community members can be a great escape from the daily grind. New experiences also tend to bring people together, so you could walk away with a new friend as well as a new skill!
Throw a Block Party. Throwing a block party can be a really fun way to actually get to know your neighbors. Talking and mingling in a relaxed environment can be a nice change from waving from across the street. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce neighborhood kids to one another. See if there’s a local band that can play and ask every family to bring a dish for a potluck. After a good block party, that awkward wave to a neighbor could turn into coffee or dinner.
Get Involved in Local Government. The first step of getting involved is getting informed. Read up on the local issues in your community paper or website. Is there a new parking structure going up? Or a controversy about the allocation of the local school budget? If you have an opinion, you have the ability make your voice heard in the community.
Many communities have town hall meetings where the public can weigh in on important decisions. Attending a meeting is a great way to draw attention to the problems in the community that matter to you, such as the huge potholes on your street or the litter at the local park, and help to make some changes!
Whether you choose to volunteer or join a class, these weekly additions to your schedule can make a difference in the community and give you something to look forward to each week. Less time consuming options, such as throwing a block party or attending a public meeting, don’t require a weekly commitment but can make a significant changes in your community and your network of connections. Getting involved is a great way to meet people while being active in your neighborhood!
Here are some links to help you get involved in the St. Louis community!