5 Easy Ways to Connect with your Community

We all know the old African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child," meaning it takes a community of different interactions for children to develop effectively in a safe environment. But how do we actually employ those communal efforts and, what exactly are they?

There are no set instructions on how to engage in your community, but there are few good tips that are helpful in developing ideas on how to better community engagement in your neighborhood. Use these steps as helpful guides to modify what fits your neighborhood.

1. Watch your surroundings

When you are out and about walking your dog, coming in from the grocery store, or cleaning out your front yard, don't be afraid to give a friendly, "Hello, how are you?" to your passing neighbors. This is a great way for people to warm up to you, leading to more dialog over time. You can start to discuss the best places to hang out or best community oriented organizations to get involved with.

2. Give a helping hand

Mother Nature Network contributor Jenn Savedge highlights the importance of these conversations. She explains how being kind is an effective way to employ healthy connections with your neighbors. So, maybe bestow a random act of kindness onto your neighbors and 

3. Know your Home, Get Involved

Its easy to throw a simple "Hello" every now and then to your passing neighbors. But what about those whom you don't get to see regularly. If you have children, a local PTA is a good place to start getting involved. If that seems a little too cliche, other options could also be joining in activities at the local community center, or volunteering for the local food bank, shelter, neighborhood watch clubs or any organization sponsored through your home town. Other suggestions would be volunteering your time to help in local elections as well as getting familiar with your local church and other fellowships. Knowing what organizations play a key role in contributing to the the betterment of your home is a must.

4. Start a Work/Life Balance Schedule

Making the time for activities outside of work and other responsibilities can be tough. Before you make any commitments, make sure you're building a schedule around your everyday duties. You want to maintain trust within your community organizations and peers and apart of that is making sure that you have the time and energy to give them the support they need.

5. Stay Committed!

Don't lose your passion! Life can put you in some awkward situations sometimes, making it hard to balance all of our responsibilities. Make sure that you don't lose sight of your goal. Once you have developed relationships with your peers and the objective of your organizations, you have a responsibility to them and your neighborhood to uphold those relationships. That means coming to your monthly meetings and making contributions for best future practices.

Here is a website that can assist you in finding volunteer groups in your area https://www.volunteermatch.org/ 

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