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Things you can do to strengthen your community

Aug 22, 2012, 9:43 a.m.
Contributing to your community can be stimulating and rewarding.

Communities can be wonderful two-way support systems. Active communities will support you if you support them. Contributing to your community can be stimulating and rewarding. Here are some suggestions about how you can strengthen your community.

Generate funding for community gardens. An exciting way to create a feeling of belonging, planting and tending community gardens is a delightful option. If there is a suitable site, funding for community gardens need not be daunting. Purchasing seeds and immature plants should not require mega funds. Gathering with your neighbors to fertilize, water and nurture a community garden quickly becomes a "labor of love."

Start a volunteer neighborhood watchdog group. Even the safest communities are not immune to crime. Neighborhood watchdog groups generate feelings of togetherness, safety and security. Communities with active neighborhood watchdog committees tend to be more close-knit, committed and caring.

Manage a food drive. Whether you live in a community with food shortages or with affluent, well-fed families, the U.N. Food Programme still projects that around 925 million people face hunger every day. You can help generate supplies for your local food pantry or use them to contact more distant communities in need.

Participate in your local government. The smaller the local government, the greater the need for your experienced skills. Help your community wherever and whenever you are needed.

Get involved with youth sports leagues. Coaching youth sports teams is an incredibly rewarding experience. Children appreciate your commitment and dedication more than you know.

Volunteer at a school, hospital, animal shelter or senior center. These important community services always need more caring, helpful people to complete their mission. You needn't have superstar skills or experience to make a positive difference at these organizations.

Whether you participate in funding for community gardens, neighborhood watchdog groups or other ventures not mentioned, you can help strengthen your community with your time, caring and commitment. You'll also enjoy satisfaction, fulfillment and a stronger community.

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