I personally love travelling and volunteering overseas, but as I get older and see many of the issues in my own community back home, I feel more motivated to help. I think there are little ways that we can make a big difference to the people who are most vulnerable in our cities. If you’re picking your brain for ways you can help out while working a full-time job or studying at college, here are 3 simple ways to help out in your community.

1. Volunteer
The type of volunteering you can do will depend on what opportunities are available in your town or city. Most cities have a big sister/big brother program, which pairs high-risk children with mentors of the same gender to them to act as an older sibling. We know that many children grow up in low-income families, with very few resources and support. This can make it especially hard for them to navigate life as they grow up. Acting as a brother or sister can help give these high-risk children the support they are lacking in their lives and to help encourage them to reach their goals. Education is such an important thing so if you can help guide someone through their school years, you can make a world of difference to the opportunities they will have later on life. Check out BrightMindsOnlineSchool.ca for more information on educational opportunities. You might prefer to work with animals in a shelter or elderly people by giving them company.

2. Fundraise
Money makes the world go around – but it also makes projects function. Without money, many organisations simply cannot do the projects that they want to do. Offering to help with fundraising projects is a great way to help behind the scenes. You can offer to do face-to-face fundraising or help on the back end, maybe offering to manage their social media accounts or marketing campaigns. Think about the skills you have either from college or work experience and how you could use them to make a difference from the organisations you believe in.

3. Be the Change You Want to See
If you’re upset by the amount of rubbish in your community, why not organise a monthly clean up to get the streets cleaner and to help improve the overall image of your neighbourhood. If you’re tired of seeing graffiti popping up, why don’t you invest in some paint to cover it up? Where we live should be somewhere we’re proud of it, and if it’s not then you can make some changes to make it that way. In my mum’s community back in New Zealand, the police worked together with the local community to make a community garden. They all tend to the garden together and people from the neighbourhood are welcome to take the fruits and vegetables that grow in the garden. This is a great way to bring the community together by also providing food to those who need it most. There are so many ways you can make a difference in your community!

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