How You Can Make A Difference In Your Local Community
By Curtis Harding
As ethical fashion has taken off and brands have put an emphasis on local talent and production, community engagement has become something of a global phenomenon.
Brands like ONE432 employ local artisans in Pakistan, paying them living wages, profit sharing and supporting Pakistani children’s education. SOKO directly connects local Kenyan artisans with the rest of the world to sell jewelry, while GRAMMAR supports women and minority-owned businesses in New York City, employing the talented artisans and craftspeople of the city to ensure the production is kept local.
Are you wondering how you can support your local community? The good news is community engagement doesn’t require starting your own business. There are plenty of ways for the average person to help out. To get you started, here’s a list of five simple ways you can make a difference.Clean Up Your Local Park
Park cleanup can range from picking up trash to fixing up park equipment. It’s a matter of finding your comfort and ability level. Just be mindful that larger projects require special permission. Trash pickup is simple, easy and something you can do walking through the park. Just grab some gloves and a bag and start a little cleanup while you enjoy the day. You can help ensure that your park isn’t just a place where your community can gather, but can’t wait to gather. Art, social groups, running and yoga classes all bring parks to life.Donate Your Clothes Thoughtfully
When it comes to discarding old apparel, it’s easy to just drop a bag in the first collection bin you find. I’m guilty of this myself, but you run the risk of it ending up in the landfill or getting resold. To make more of a local impact, donate directly. Crisis centers can almost always use clothing. Churches know community needs, and so do schools. Contact these places to see what they need, and your leftover apparel could help a neighbor get a job and become a more confident member of your community, or could remove one more barrier from a local kid’s education.Become a Volunteer Tutor
Since we’re on the topic of education, why not help children learn? You don’t need a doctorate in math theory to bolster kids and teens on their educational path, just some patience and a willingness to explain. Maybe you’re good at helping prepare for tests. Maybe you’re a science nerd, or could help struggling readers. Chances are you’ll be able to find a way to help a student in need and help strengthen your community’s next generation.Share Your Pet
Are you a pet lover with a pup who’s just the best boy ever? You can volunteer to bring him to places like senior centers and hospitals. Virtually everyone can benefit from pet therapy, and it’s not just dog owners who can volunteer. There are a number of programs you can sign up with that will help guide you through your local institutions. You might be surprised at the bonds formed as you help the most vulnerable members of your community heal.Shop Local
This may seem a bit obvious, but supporting small, local businesses is a great way to get the most bang for your buck. Often, your support means that local businesses have the resources for greater community engagement, and gives them a longer reach than you’d have on your own. From supporting local charity events to sponsoring sports teams, small businesses tend to be the lifeblood of your community. When we support them, we support everyone.
D.O.B makes a difference in the everyday choices we make. D.O.B is building a community that connects and supports people and brands with shared principles to help small businesses and our neighborhoods thrive!