With health and economic crises shaking the country, local communities need all hands on deck right now. The good news is that you can help build a stronger community in a number of different ways. Active community members are especially crucial, and people are finding many ways to help our local communities. If you want to make a positive change in your own community, here’s how you can get started:
Get involved in local volunteer organizations
Local Community Action organizations that provide vital community support services, such as Washington Gorge Action Program and The Next Door, offer tremendously fulfilling opportunities for working volunteers and donors. Community Service organizations, such as Community Partners and Rotary, offer equally fulfilling volunteer opportunities to help physically improve our community.
Educate your community neighbors
If you have the relevant knowledge about the key issues, you can build a stronger community at the grassroots levels by educating your community members. You can start by identifying the general issues or common personal concerns within your community, so that you can discuss these problems with your neighbors, friends and others you talk with.
During these discussions it’s important that you’re receptive to the concerns and issues that others may bring up. Since communication is crucial in community relationships and interactions, The Art of Communicating recommends that you listen mindfully to avoid any misunderstandings during meetings or one-on-one discussions. By taking the time to listen to each person in your community, you can foster an environment of support, and work together towards common causes.
Donate to your local community
You can build a stronger community by donating to local project needs. Your financial support can help cover costs for crucial projects that can uplift the entire community. On top of that, you can also donate your time or even personal possessions, such as usable clothes, furniture, or appliances, so that our community can meet needs and accomplish crucial goals.
This is especially important for White Salmon Valley right now since we’re planning a new White Salmon Valley Pool for community recreation, health and togetherness. Community members can donate money, materials and services toward construction of the new pool. You can also raise awareness regarding fundraising efforts so that we can all benefit from the project completion.
Apply your professional skills
Your working skills, abilities and experience can be especially valuable to community enhancement efforts. For example, there’s a growing demand for professional social workers, which can improve the lives of children, the elderly, the disadvantaged and the sick. Getting formal training in the field enhances your knowledge and skills in human rights, policy, and community work, equipping you with the tools to empower and transform your community for many years to come.
Show your support through social media
You can also educate people through social media. No matter how big or small your social media audience may be, you can use this platform to raise awareness regarding key concerns or even positive developments within your community.
Even nonprofits leverage Facebook for fundraising, about 40% of individuals discover their donation drives through the social media platform. Through the right communications strategy, you can educate community members about key concerns within your area and even launch fundraisers that can help address these issues.
Run for local office
Running for office isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay! But most projects and services require long-term involvement to foster community development. If you want to support these efforts over the long-term, you can take charge by running for local positions. You can enact meaningful regulations and policies within your community, especially if you have a real understanding of everyone’s needs. People from marginalized sectors can be especially effective in enacting policies and driving positive changes in communities by running for office.
In the end YOU can be a catalyst that can drive great changes within your area. If you want to help in building a stronger community, the best time to get more involved is always now.
Article written by Rachael Joy
Exclusively for Community Partners