Social change comes in different forms, but it always starts with simple acts. Sadly, many think that we can only consider an action or any initiative as social change if the impact is powerful enough to prompt wide-ranging transformations. The truth is, social change can affect even one and can have the same impact as bigger actions.
Many of us are yearning to start a positive change in our communities. The year begins with all our best intentions and a positive attitude, but as months pass and our lives get busier, those good thoughts will eventually fall behind. As a result, we finish each year regretting missed opportunities to help our community. This all comes down to our inability to think of creative ways to help out and the assumption that community initiatives should be something big and transformative.
Creating positive change in the community is all about building relationships, fostering trust, and effective management of conflict. It can vary from charity drives, volunteer programs, donations, and support for local businesses. In other communities, some install commercial lighting throughout the neighborhood to improve the security and aesthetic appeal of the area.
If you’re keen to give back to your community, there are plenty of ways to contribute. With that in mind, here are ways to create a positive impact on your community.
Know your community
Many communities have their own homeowner association (HOA) that creates and enforces policies for residents and properties. Communities with an active homeowner association organize meetings and social events to improve community interaction. Attending these gatherings makes a huge difference by showing your active involvement in community affairs.
Community meetings are the best way to start. They open opportunities to develop deeper familiarity and meet people within your neighborhood. Most community meetings often tackle urgent issues in the neighborhood concerning security, safety, and cleanliness. But instead of sitting throughout the meeting, make efforts to be more involved by asking questions or starting a discussion. You’ll even discover your passion for activism or local politics.
Besides community gatherings, you can also volunteer to mentor young people who can learn a lot from your knowledge, skills, or experience. You can even meet someone in your profession or social circles who will need support along the way.
Support local businesses
Starting a small business can be difficult if you haven’t yet established a strong presence among your target customers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people found themselves jobless because of the series of layoffs and company shutdowns. People who lost their jobs started a local business as a source of their livelihood.
Everyone knows how challenging it is to run a small business, so showing your support to budding entrepreneurs can go a long way. Showcase your community involvement by supporting their products or services. Not only are you helping them stay afloat, but you’re also lessening your environmental impact. Today, many small businesses operate on a mission-first business by selling environmentally-friendly products (e.g., organic skincare and recycled tote bags). This means they prioritize making a positive impact on society instead of simply making profits.
Studies show that big corporations have the biggest environmental impact that contributes to climate change. In this case, supporting local businesses would mean supporting eco-friendly practices.
You can also start one of your own by starting a business with a socially impactful purpose. As your business grows, the bigger social impact it will make in the long term. Remember, consumers today are becoming conscious of their ecological impact, so take advantage of it by starting a mission-first business.
Do volunteer activities
For example, you have limited resources to start a social change. Volunteering is the easiest and the most rewarding way to contribute to your community.
The pandemic has given us a lot of free time to spend in our homes. If going outdoors is your last option, you can use the power of the internet to start an online youth movement or take part in online community events. People these days looking for jobs rely on trusted professionals within their industry or community to expand their network or seek assistance. If you’re up for the job, you can contact the local business center or job center to extend your services or expertise. You can hold seminars, organize mock interviews, or give advice on starting a business.
Investing in community projects doesn’t necessarily require large projects or anything that can cost you a lot of time, money, and effort. You can always start in your neighborhood to bring positive change. Remember, even small initiatives can offer the biggest impact and can cause a long-term ripple effect.