How to Make a Difference in Your Own Community

Dr. Candice Matthews

May 9, 2023


Many people in your local area are struggling with a variety of issues, including financial troubles and loneliness. By volunteering your time and energy to those in need, you can make a huge difference in their lives.

You can help the community in other ways, such as visiting elderly neighbors or organising a clean up day to take care of rubbish. Supporting local businesses is another good way to do this, as it keeps money in your town and helps the economy.


Whether you choose to volunteer your time or money, helping others will help strengthen the bonds of community and promote a sense of belonging. This will also help you to discover new interests, skills and perspectives that you might not have known you had.

To find the right volunteer opportunity for you, start by identifying what you are passionate about. From there, consider how your strengths can best be used to make an impact. For example, if you have a knack for organizing, holding a clothing drive or coordinating a local community garden might be perfect for your skill set.

You can even use your social skills to connect with your neighbors by participating in cultural events like AAPI Heritage Month, Pride Month or Disability Pride Month. Attending these activities will not only provide you with a greater understanding of your community, but it will also foster friendships and support networks. This will ultimately build a stronger community, something that everyone should be striving for.

Start a Community Garden

Community gardens offer many benefits to a local neighborhood. They provide affordable access to fresh produce, get people more involved with agriculture and ecology and encourage community and social interaction. They also help to maintain food security in times of crisis.

A community garden can be as large as an entire park or as small as a shared backyard. Start by identifying interested neighbors and inviting them to an organizational meeting.

Organizers should also determine whether they want to incorporate their community garden as an organization or club; this will allow them to do things like hold special fundraising events and keep records of membership.

Get Involved in Local Politics – Community 

Local politics is a powerful way to effect change. Oftentimes these meetings are open to the public and give you an opportunity to share your thoughts or concerns on specific issues.

For example, a recycling program isn’t successful until the majority of individuals commit to it. Similarly, a reduction in youth violence may only happen once the problem reaches a critical mass of community members who feel compelled to take action.

This can be a great learning experience and may even help you decide to run for office yourself in the future! In addition, attending town hall meetings and non-profit events can also be a wonderful way to connect with other locals and learn about their concerns.

Collect Tabs – Community 

The tab of a soda can may not seem like it would be worth much on its own, but when people from all over the community work together to “pull,” that tiny aluminum piece can make a big difference. This is a great way for a school, scout troop or other group to help out. It’s also easy, clean and a great way to recycle!

Even the youngest daisy or cub scout can participate in this major fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville. These little tabs from soda, soup and other cans are a major part of our local fundraising efforts, and the money raised helps offset RMH’s operating expenses. Just be sure to have eye-popping collection containers, like a coffee can or large plastic jars that can hold lots of tabs, and clearly mark them with RMHC-Nashville collection labels.