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Giving Back to your community

What you give is what you get

 The secret to living a good life is very simple: give back where you can. Not only will it enrich your life, you will also grow as a person and you’ll develop a better understanding of what’s happening in your community. It will show you that you always have something to be grateful for in a world where many are struggling just to get through the day.

Why is it important to give back to your community?

 Besides the fact that there are so many people who need help, giving back to your community is a great opportunity to connect with and learn to deal with people from all walks of life. It will open your eyes to how others live, giving you a new and very real perspective of the world. It will also develop your EQ – your emotional intelligence. Your EQ will serve you well in life, particularly if you follow a career in a corporate environment one day.

Keep it within your means

 It is important to understand that you can only give within your means. The good news is that there is a lot that you can do that won’t cost a cent, it will be a commitment of your time and effort. There are also ways that you can help that won’t cost a lot. You must be honest and realistic with yourself when deciding on how much you can afford to use for giving back. You have to always take care of yourself first.

Some ways you can give back

 Here are some quick starters that won’t cost you a lot:

  • Shop for the elderly: if you have an elderly person living near you who struggles to get the shops, offer to do it for them when you do your own shopping. They may struggle to walk, making it difficult to catch a taxi and carry heavy groceries. They will love you for it.
  • Share your lunch: if you have leftovers, pack an extra lunch for a fellow student who doesn’t bring lunch or a someone who has no home or food that you may encounter on your way to school.
  • Help with homework: is there a family close to you where both parents work? Offer to help their children with homework if the parents get home too late to help their children or just to take some pressure off the parents and the kids. This could allow the family to have a little bit of quality time or much-needed rest.
  • Donate your old clothes instead of selling them: find someone in your community who is younger than you and gift them the clothes and shoes that you’ve outgrown of.
  • Bake: if you have some spare money, bake some biscuits or dombolo and take them to members of your community that are struggling to put food on the table.
  • Take care of your environment: make a point of picking up any rubbish that you find when you are taking a walk. If people ask you why you are doing it, educate them about the importance of keeping our environment clean and not littering. You could even arrange an environmental clean-up in your area.
  • Sew: you could offer to mend clothes for the adults in your community that work and don’t have time to mend their own clothes. This will also improve your own sewing skills. Skills that you will use for the rest of your life.
  • Help stray animals: if you have leftovers and there are stray animals, you could take them some food and maybe report them to an animal organisation so that they can be taken care of. You could also volunteer your time at the animal organisation. They always need help when it comes to taking care of animals and grooming them.

You can use these ideas as a starting point. As you open your eyes to the needs within your community, you’ll come up with different ideas to make a difference. You may even enjoy it so much that you decide to join a charity organisation so that you can formalise your efforts. Don’t forget to inspire your friends to follow in your footsteps. Imagine what a beautiful place this world would be if every person played their part in giving back?

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