Volunteering and serving your community are perfect ways to make your soul happy and improve the lives of others around you. But sometimes we are slaves to the weather and let it dictate how we serve. The good news is there are service opportunities all year long if you just look! Here are some ideas for every season.
Community service is easy to picture in the summer months when the weather is consistently nice, and everyone is outside getting fresh air. Look for opportunities to combine your hobbies with service opportunities! Think about hosting a beach clean-up if you’re near one, or a park beautification effort in conjunction with your local park and recreation department. Discovering the goals of your local community and offering to help can move a community forward in big ways.
For many underprivileged children, summertime can be stressful if they don’t have school meals to feed them. Some kids only get one meal a day at home and must go hungry the rest of the time. School districts are doing their best to combat this by offering free summer-time lunches. Sometimes offered in parks or on the school grounds, volunteers are always needed to clean up when lunch is over, to keep debris off the streets and out of gutters. Libraries offer lots of help too! Call your local school and library to see how you can help.
Autumn is a magical time with crisp mornings, leaves changing, and pumpkin spice everything. What’s going on in your community that you can help with?
Many elderly members of your town might not be able to rake their leaves and keep their driveways and walkways clear. Check on your neighbors and offer to take care of that chore for them.
If you live in a farming community, or close to one, check with your local farmers for leftover produce. Many use large harvesting machines and leave any produce the machine missed to be gleaned by those who want to pick it themselves by hand. This is a great way to serve others and get free produce to people in need. If you are in a position where you don’t need more produce, consider picking it and donating it to a local foodbank.
Winter can be hard for outdoor community service since it’s cold and wet. However, there is an abundance of need throughout this season. Snow removal comes to so many minds during winter and is an easy way to get some exercise while helping your neighbors. Look for homes in your neighborhood that aren’t shoveled and offer to take care of it. Provide help for those who may not be able to take care of it themselves, like the elderly, young mothers, and home-bound individuals in need of service.
Caroling around the holidays is a fun way to bring cheer to those you visit, and you don’t even have to go door to door! Find a busy street corner and serenade shoppers, pedestrians, and even the homeless. Don’t worry about how your voice may sound! Get enough friends and you will form a choir of voices appreciated by all who hear.
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Lots of athletic events happen in the spring, and this is a great way to support your local community. For example, every year, Spokane, Washington hosts Bloomsday™, a local tradition dating back 45 years. Just over 7 miles long and through the scenic parts of downtown Spokane, racers come from all over the world year after year to participate in this local tradition. It brings in new customers for that weekend and is a huge boost to the local economy. Volunteers are always needed to pass out running packets, man the checkpoints, and give water to runners. This is a fun volunteer opportunity for so many locals who want to support this event. Look for something similar where you live!
Making a habit of volunteering outdoors is the perfect marriage of fresh air and serving your neighbors and community. No matter the season or weather, opportunities to serve are all around.
Ready to help, but don’t know where to start? Visit VolunteerMatch, Blessings Under the Bridge (a Spokane-based charity), or Points of Light to see how you can help!
To ensure you stay healthy as you serve throughout the seasons, check out these cold and flu remedies.