Aug 02 2022

Top 10 ways to give back in your community

Looking for ways to share your time and talents help others? How to get started.

The last two years have brought endless changes, and none of us has made it through the same. But there are a few positive effects of the pandemic, government officials say. One is that more people—and especially young people—are interested in giving back.

This positive change has taken place at the global level. Some organizations have had so many volunteer applications that they can’t respond to them all. Even as the health crisis becomes more manageable, people are still in need of help; food requests have skyrocketed, also related to inflation.

It helps to remember that every act counts. Many times, you can make the biggest difference by getting involved close to home.

How to give back: 10 simple but meaningful ideas

Where can you chip in? Try one or all of these community-strengthening options:

1. Clear out and donate.

Simple as it sounds, local thrift and consignment shops are always in need of donations. Donating gently used clothes and other items also stops them from being sent to the landfill, where they can take years to break down. Make like Marie Kondo and consolidate your closets, drawers, spare rooms, and more using our tips.

2. Volunteer your time or skills.

A quick search of the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace shows that many, many non-profits are in need of skill-based donations: This may include editing, graphic design, administration, social media, legal help, and others. You can also visit VolunteerMatch.org to turn up opportunities that may relate to your talent.

3. Host a food or sock drive.

Remember, food is still a major need post-pandemic. Reach out to a local food pantry and see if they have a partnering program that allows you to host a food drive through your neighborhood, church, or school. Or host a sock drive in a similar fashion; socks are said to be the top item requested by homeless shelters.

4. Shop local.

It doesn’t get much easier: Making a conscious decision to buy locally—instead of from the big website that shall not be named—only requires some Googling and a trip to a nearby store. Many small businesses may also offer online ordering and delivery. Keeping your purchases local diverts these funds right back into your community.

5. Plan to tip extra.

You can support recovering restaurants and food service workers hit hard by the pandemic by increasing your tip, when you can afford it. Post-pandemic, tipping more—at least 20 percent—has become the new norm. One in five people now tip their servers a minimum of 25 percent.

For more than 30 years, we’ve created life-changing experiences through lending. How can we help make your dreams of homeownership come true?

6. Give blood.

The Red Cross declared its “first-ever blood crisis” earlier this year, related to the pandemic. Giving blood, in its simplest purpose, can help save lives. This is particularly true if you’re a rare blood type. You’ll have to go through an initial screening to qualify, but the actual blood donation only takes about 10 minutes.

7. Sponsor someone (or thing).

Whether it’s a familychild, or animal, you can sponsor individually or as a group—on behalf of your book club or your child’s class, for example. This is again where every little bit counts: You could sponsor a family for less than $40 a month, covering their monthly groceries.

8. Be a Big Brother or Sister.

Volunteering a few times a month to spend time with your “Little,” as they’re called, can make a world of difference. “Becoming a Big” and mentoring a Little has become even more important post-pandemic as new stressors affect local communities. Right now, there’s an especially high demand for boys needing Big Brothers.

9. Spend time with seniors.

While it’s hard to measure which of these ideas is the most impactful, this could be the one. Seniors are often shuffled to the fringes of society, especially after losing mobility or when entering assisted living. All that is to say: Seniors would love your company. Opportunities may include signing up to be a Senior Companion, playing games at an assisted living facility, or delivering groceries or meals.

10. Perform random acts of kindness.

If you can’t commit to a weekly volunteer slot, make it a (spontaneous) daily practice. Offer to cut an elderly neighbor’s lawn. Walk through your neighborhood and clean up trash. Leave goodies or a gift card on a friend’s doorstep. Check out our list of the top ways to pay it forward for more inspiration.

Here, you’re a person—not a number

At Academy Mortgage, we aim to give back through every mortgage we write. We do this by creating life-changing experiences through lending. This is the mission we’ve lived by for nearly 35 years. Do you need help realizing your dreams of homeownership? Do you have questions about your existing mortgage? Would you just like to chat? Get in touch with a friendly Loan Officer near you.

This blog is intended for educational purposes only. Please consult a trusted professional as personal circumstances may vary. Corp NMLS 3113 I Equal Housing Lender. MAC523-1481209.