Whether you're new to town, you've been there a while, or you're a life-long resident, it's never too late to contribute to your community in a positive way. Regardless of whether you have hours to devote each week or only minutes here and there, you can still make a difference.
While Omar Ascha is very busy as a finance professional, he still makes time for the community around him and his friends and family. On his days off, Mr. Ascha can be found volunteering in the community or mentoring young professionals.
Below, Omar Ascha explains ten tips that can help you get more involved as soon as you're ready to start.
1. Vote in elections
Voting is so important, but many opt to participate in federal elections and forego state and local ones. Each vote matters, including yours. If you want your community to keep going in a positive direction, voting for who you want in office has a lot to do with it.
2. Help neighbors tackle landscaping tasks
Should you see a neighbor doing a landscaping task like raking leaves or shoveling snow, offer to help or to do it for them. If you know of someone who is elderly, has health problems, or is going through a tough time, doing the task for them can be even more meaningful and have a more significant impact than you might realize.
3. Step up when a need arises
Hear that a family lost everything in a fire? Find out that the food pantry is low on donations? Whenever you learn that someone is in need in your community, try and do what you can to help.
4. Give donations and/or your time
Even if you can't commit to volunteering regularly, there may be opportunities available in your community where you can volunteer at events or whenever your schedule permits. Additionally, specific organizations in your town can benefit from your generosity of donating items they need throughout the year. In some cases, you can donate items you already have in your home, such as by bringing newspapers to animal shelters or clothing to a homeless shelter.
5. Support the local businesses
For the local businesses you love to stay in your community, they need as much support as they can get. If you don't have money to spare at the moment, consider taking the word-of-mouth approach and recommending them to friends, family, and others in the area.
6. Attend meetings
If you're able to, attending meetings, such as Board of Education or Town Hall meetings, gives you a sense of what's going on in your community and shows you care. It also gives you an idea of where your help may be needed and what you can do to pitch in.
7. Offer praise on social media
When something positive happens to you, such as that you had a great experience with a local business or someone in the community went above and beyond for you, consider posting about it on social media. You could choose to do so on pages dedicated to your town or on your personal page, but sharing such information can be motivating and a way to put some positive energy back into your community.
8. Pick up trash when you see it
Carry a grabber or sturdy glove along with a shopping bag so if you see trash on the ground, you're able to pick it up. No one likes to walk around seeing garbage laying all over the ground, but if everyone in the community picks it up when they see it, it could result in a cleaner environment.
9. Participate in town events
There's nothing like the energy of togetherness at town events. Attending shows your community spirit, gives you a chance to support local vendors and provides you with an opportunity to meet others who live in the area.
10. Make kind gestures
Kindness has a way of having a ripple effect. Even something as seemingly simple as holding a door open for someone, buying a coffee for the person behind you in the drive-thru, or letting someone who has only a couple of items get in front of you in line, can spread a lot of positivity.
It doesn't take a lot to get involved in your community and make a positive impact. Every little bit of kindness makes a difference even if you don't see or hear about it. When you contribute in wonderful ways, it could easily inspire others to do the same.
About Omar Ascha:
An avid believer in the work of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Omar Ascha sees the undeniable value in community outreach. When Mr. Ascha is not hard at work, he spends time giving back to the community by mentoring young adults and college students. In his free time, Mr. Ascha enjoys hiking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
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