Ever feel like it’s your moral imperative to give back to the less fortunate around you? Even if it’s not in lieu of anything, but just out of the goodness of your heart, a few hours a week can make a massive difference to the life of someone else.

In today’s society, there are numerous ways and means of volunteering your time in order to give back to your local community. By volunteering your time you’re not only improving the community you live in but your own sense of self-worth, too.

Here are a few simple ways to volunteer any spare time you have. Whether it’s during the week or over the weekend, your volunteered time is always valuable!

8 Simple Ways to Volunteer Your Time and Give Back 

Much of society today tends to live in a bubble of comfort, security, and routine. It’s when you break out of this bubble that you can truly change your life around, as well as the lives of others.

People from all walks of life are looking for a helping hand. From your neighbor to seniors in your area or wayward youth looking for mentorship – check out iMentor for more. Here are 8 inspiring ways to give back…

  1. Support Local Senior Citizens

Senior citizen loneliness is prevalent across the globe. No matter where you go, the elderly are always in need of company or a helping hand. Not all seniors are lucky enough to be surrounded by family or a support network. But by volunteering some of your time, you can help them feel a little more loved.

Some simple ways to give back include:

  • Offering to clean, shovel or rake an elderly neighbor’s lawn, porch or driveway.
  • Cooking an extra portion of food in your meal prep and delivering home cooked meals to a senior neighbor
  • Offer to repaint a home exterior or complete basic home maintenance fixes for a frail or immobile senior in your area
  • Visit a senior care facility and spend time with a senior playing games or watching a movie

Not all seniors are lucky enough to be surrounded by family or a support network. But by volunteering some of your time, you can help them feel a little more loved.

  1. Coach or Mentor a Local Youth Team

In every area, you may find a group of wayward youth who are in need of a little guidance and mentorship. There’s nothing better than participating in a team sport to teach children about responsibility, teamwork, and the true meaning of hard work.

Some kids in your neighborhood may be dying to participate in a sport, but they just don’t have the facilities, coaches or mentors to help. Step up and offer you time to help change their lives around and give them real purpose.

Ask around your local community at sports centers and schools whether there is an opportunity for volunteer coaching or mentorship.

  1. Nurture a Few Furry Friends 

If you have a love for animals, then it’s worth knowing that there are a number of lonely, neglected pets in your community that need attention and care. This is especially true in the colder winter months.

Take some time out of your day to volunteer at an animal shelter where you can nurture a few furry friends and your soul at the same time! Otherwise, you offer to foster an animal for some time until they are found a decent home.

You can also offer to walk an elderly neighbor’s dog, feed their cats or take them to the vet for their check-ups.  

  1. Give Back to Those Who Serve

For all those citizens who have been bravely volunteered to serve your country, their families have been left behind. You can show your support for military families and veterans in a number of ways.

If you know of a military family that lives close by, cook up a batch of meals and deliver them to their home. A little bit of help and neighborly support can go a long way when dealing with the stress of a loved one at war.

Offer to transport children to and from school where possible, or run an errand if they need it. You can also offer to take the family on a tour of your local area, and recommend good places to shop, eat, and explore.

Give thanks to those who have served by sending them books or care packages while they are away.

  1. Tutor a Student

A student doesn’t have to be a child in order to tutor them. Students include people of all ages within your local community. Offer to tutor simple subjects to those in need, including literacy or English to less fortunate adults.

Alternatively, offer to tutor non-academic subjects such as computer literacy and internet studies to those who are computer illiterate. This includes senior citizens too!

  1. Give Back to the Environment

It might sound cliché, but the world we live in gives us so much on a daily basis. You can volunteer your time and give back to the local environment to help reduce your own carbon footprint.

Spend time in your local park or playground collecting rubbish that you see lying around. You’d be surprised how much you can collect in 30-minutes! Alternatively, join a planter community and spend time planting drought-resistant plants for a greener local community.  

On a larger scale, organize a neighborhood safe-disposal group that collects discarded electronics, batteries, and paint once a month.

  1. Combat Hunger and Homelessness

No matter where you live in the world, hunger and homelessness is a prevalent issue that will always require some form of volunteer effort to combat. You can give to those in need by donating non-perishable food items, clothing, and even bottled water to a local charity.

Volunteer at your local soup kitchen for only an hour over the weekend and help serve breakfast, lunch or dinner. On a more long-term basis, you can also join a local organization that offers counseling and life-skills classes for the less fortunate.

  1. Volunteer as a Community Docent

If you enjoy being around people and consider yourself a decent public speaker, then this volunteer opportunity is ideal for you. Your local museum, art galleries, aquariums, zoos, and libraries are always in need of volunteer guides.

Enhance your local community’s experience when visiting these public spaces by training as a docent and spending time taking them on tours. Docent training is usually provided and requires you to be enthusiastic, patient, flexible and friendly.

Discover Local Emory Campus News 

If you’re looking for local campus news or simple life advice on ways to volunteer, become a community mentor, or more, Emory Wheel provides it all. 

Check back on-the-regular for more.