How to Help Your Community This Year

By: Marlene Boyle

How to Help Your Community This Year

Tags: durham region, clarington community, town of bowmanville, durham region residents, clarington residents

2020 has demonstrated, perhaps more than ever, the importance of our family, friends, neighbours, and community. It truly “takes a village” to keep a community functioning effectively, whether that’s by keeping our waterways clean, feeding the hungry, teaching our kids, or supporting small businesses. 

The beginning of 2021 offers the perfect opportunity to give back to the place we call home. You might want to focus your efforts near home, expand to our larger community, or even help support the people closest to you. Whether you’re passionate about a particular cause or just want to get more involved in general, let these 10 ways, both big and small, inspire you to do good in your town.  


GIVE BACK NEAR HOME
#1. Attract local wildlife. By making your neighbourhood more wildlife friendly, you’re helping to create a balanced and healthy ecosystem. Not to mention, a beautiful birdbath or birdhouse adds to your curb appeal. Plus, many of the animals you can attract help with pest control and pollination.

Ideas: 

Take action: While you might not be able to “break ground” until spring, start researching native plants now to design a landscaping plan that provides food, shelter, and water for local wildlife.

 #2. Clean up our community. Besides beautifying the area, picking up trash keeps it out of our local waterways, which means a cleaner water supply for all of us.

Ideas: 

Take action: Check with your local municipality to learn about environmental clean-up efforts in our community, as well as recycling and composting.  

 

#3. Organize or join a neighbourhood watch. According to a recent report, neighbourhoods with Neighbourhood Crime Watch programs experience roughly 16 percent less crime. Keeping an eye out for each other instills a sense of safety and security in your neighbourhood by increasing surveillance, reducing opportunities, and enhancing information sharing among residents. Even if your neighbourhood doesn’t have an official program, you can still share crime information via a neighbourhood Facebook group.

Ideas: 

Take action: Some police forces use online mapping tools that provide crime alerts to people in neighbourhoods where recent criminal activity occurred. Share this information with your neighbours.

 

HELP OUT LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS

#4. Boost your civic engagement. Regardless of your politics, you can get more involved as a citizen to make a positive difference in our community.

Ideas: 

Take action: Do you know who our local leaders are, such as our mayor or city councilwoman? Get to know their names, their policies, and their stand on issues that affect our community. Subscribe to their newsletter and follow them on social media.
 

#5. Support local businesses. Our community has been impacted by the pandemic, with many businesses being forced to limit capacity, instill social distancing efforts, and even shutter entirely in some cases. Help keep money in our local economy by shopping local instead of relying on online shopping from national chains.

Ideas: 

Take action: If you’re concerned about shopping in person right now, many of these businesses, though small, offer online shopping, with options for in-store pick-up, curbside delivery, and/or mail options. 

 

#6. Donate to local charities. Nonprofits could always use your financial support, so consider making a monetary donation to help them carry out their mission in our community. But if money is tight (or you want to support in other ways), think beyond just donating dollars.

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CARE FOR YOUR NEIGHBOURS

#7. Organize a food drive. This past year, in particular, people are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table. The pandemic has caused many businesses to close or reduce their staff size, putting many people out of work. Our team recently donated some supplies to St Vincent De Paul in Bowmanville. You can watch our video here:

Ideas: 

Take action: Take advantage of your grocery store coupons and buy-one-get-one offers to inexpensively stock up on nonperishable goods.

 

#8. Adopt a family or an individual. You can make a difference by “adopting” a particular family (or even just a child) to help make their 2021 better.

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#9. Volunteer. Depending on your schedule and your preferences, you might be able to volunteer in-person or from home, whether it’s a one-time effort or ongoing project. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people in your community as you make a positive impact together for a shared cause.

Ideas: 

Take action: Start with your local community to see where its needs are the greatest. Make a point to help, extending your commitment throughout 2021.

 

#10. Perform random acts of kindness. Don’t think you need to “go big or go home” in your give-back efforts. You can make a big difference one small act at a time.

Ideas: 

Take action: Need more ideas? Visit randomactsofkindness.org for hundreds of inspiring ways to make someone’s day a little brighter.

 

HOW WE CAN HELP YOU?

As a real estate expert in my local community, I'm tuned into the unique needs of the place we all call home. Reach out to me today to discuss more ways to make a positive impact in our community. And I want to make sure you’re taken care of, too. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home now or in the near future, let me help you!