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Many people want to give back to their communities, but they feel as though they don’t have the financial resources to make a significant impact. In truth, there are many things you can do for your community that doesn’t involve donating your own limited cash flow. Here are four ideas for helping others in your community.

Volunteer Your Time

In many cases, your time and your willingness to pitch in is more valuable than a cash donation. You can volunteer to tutor children or adults, especially those struggling with literacy. If you have a love for animals, you can volunteer for a few hours each week at your local animal shelter. Once you begin looking, you’ll find that there are many volunteer opportunities throughout your city.

Become a Conscientious Shopper

Just becoming more aware of where you shop can have a significant impact on your local community. Instead of shopping at “big box” stores, visit locally-owned shops and stores. The local businesses in your neighborhood are more reliant on your business than national corporations that may not even have a corporate headquarters in your city. Shopping at your local businesses can keep those business owners from going under, helping your community to prosper.

Keep it Clean

Something that can involve your entire family is to pitch in to clean up the streets, parks, and neighborhoods in your community. You can go out together to clean up litter and graffiti. As people see you cleaning up public areas, you may encourage them to participate as well. Bigger problems, such as abandoned vehicles, can be tackled by working with law enforcement or your local government leaders.

Help Your Neighbors

You don’t have to go far to lend a helping hand. You can benefit your own neighborhood by helping the people on your own block who may be struggling. Whether that means babysitting for a single parent or running errands for an elderly couple, small acts of kindness will go a long way. This will also help you create a friendlier community because it will give you a reason to get to know your neighbors.

As you begin looking for ways to help your community, you’ll find many more opportunities. Your actions will also encourage others to give back as well. In a very short time, you’ll find that acts that may seem small have had a positive and long-lasting effect on your community.