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Food workers preparing meals and putting them in plastic bags
Food workers preparing meals and putting them in plastic bags

7 Ways to Give Back to Your Local Community (For Free)

Kacie Goff
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If this year has taught us anything, it’s that community matters. 

Earlier this year we socially distanced ourselves. Now, we’re coming together for change. 

If you want to give back to your community, know you don’t need money to make a difference. Here are seven free ways to give back to your community.

1. Collect food for your local food bank

This can be a no-touch giveback option. Set up a bin on your front porch or another space anyone can easily access. 

Then, let people know you’re collecting food for the local food bank. Post flyers in the neighborhood or post on platforms like Nextdoor

Bring in the bin at night to be safe and spray it down before you do.

Give people a week to drop off their goods. At the end of the window, gather everything up and deliver the food to the food bank. Call them to see if they have contactless dropoff.

Know that there will be locals fed for your work.

2. Collect goods for your local animal shelter

Call your local shelter and ask what they need. Usually, blankets, towels, food, and toys are in high demand.

Similar to food collection, set out a bin, publicize what you’re gathering (pet food, old toys, etc.), then drop off what you get. 

3. Give blood

A single blood donation can save as many as three lives and it takes only about an hour out of your day and costs you nothing. 

We’re facing a huge blood supply shortage and many blood banks also offer COVID-19 antibody tests for donors. 

Blood donation centers are taking extra steps to make donating a safe process during the pandemic. They’ve been pros in sanitization for decades and are doing things like temperature checks at the front door. 

Review the protocols at your local donation center online or over the phone to make sure you’re comfortable. 

4. Clean up your neighborhood

Under quarantine, you probably spent more time than usual walking your neighborhood. Next time you’re out for a stroll, look around. 

What does your area need? Are weeds taking over the sidewalk? Is trash gathering at the curb?

You can change that.

Cleaning up the neighborhood doesn’t cost anything and you’ll get some much needed Vitamin D.

5. Donate by shopping online

If you regularly shop with Amazon, use AmazonSmile

When you do, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the charity you choose. They have an FAQ so you can learn more.

Or if you’re into gaming, check out Freerice. Play their games and the World Food Programme gets money to buy rice for people in need.

6. Volunteer your skills 

Volunteer your professional skills locally. You can do this over Craigslist, Facebook, or by contacting local charities. 

7. Give away what you don’t need

Most of us have more than we need to get by. Take a look around your house and see what you can do away with.

Most of us could stand to lose a few pairs of shoes or cans of food. Gather them, then give them away. 

You don’t need a big wallet to make a big difference. A little creativity, time, and effort can go a long way. And your neighbors will thank you for it.

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank (“Bank”). Bank is not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

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