A few years ago, one of my best friends celebrated her birthday by inviting her party to serve at The Free Pantry on a warm afternoon in Costa Mesa, CA. Instead of ordering cocktails and opening gifts, we prepared and served food restaurant style to anyone who attended. It was so like her to shift the attention off of her, and get us focused on serving those who needed it most in our community.
This really didn't come as a surprise to me. Prior to her birthday celebration she had spent a year in Uganda working with children in rural villages - accomplishing a goal she shared with me years before. When she's wasn't in Africa she was always serving her friends, family, and community.
My friendship with her has been a huge inspiration behind my mantra: give back on your way up. Each one of us has some resource that we can allocate toward bettering our community, one person at a time. For those that need a little inspiration, I've put together 3 Ways We Can Give that Don't Cost Us a Dime.
Offer Free Tutoring or Coaching
A great way to give back to your community is by offering your time to someone who's looking for it. Whether you're a musician, an accountant, a history teacher, or a personal trainer, someone can benefit from your mentorship.
By the way, an easy way to get the word out is to post on your social media pages that you're offering your time. Not only will this benefit your community, but it'll help you sharpen your skills as well.
Raise Awareness for a Cause or Charity
This is probably the easiest and least time consuming way to impact your community in a positive way. Let people know what you really care about by sharing articles or videos on Facebook! Charitable foundations love getting support on social media even if that doesn't equate to time or finances.
Challenge yourself to post about your cause 2-3 times a week for a month and see what kind of awareness you can gain for it.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
Take a page out of my friend's book and help serve people in your community. Not only is this a great way to connect with your community, but it can also be a great way to spend time with friends and family. More often than not you'll learn incredible stories from the people you serve, and become inspired to do even more work to better those around you.
If you need help finding a soup kitchen to volunteer at, click here.
Remember, you don't have to wait for the holidays, a viral Internet challenge, or #GivingTuesday to contribute to your community. You don't need a big bank account or a huge network to make in impact. Making a change starts with taking small steps in a positive direction.
If you're in the Orange County, CA area and need a wingman in your efforts to positively impact your community, message me using the form below. I'd love to help you out.