A lot of people have a hard time getting involved in their community. They either don’t know how to get started or just never seem to have the time to do it.
I’ve compiled a list of 100 things that you can do to help out your community. I’m sure that after reading through this list, you’ll find something in it that interests you and will help you get involved!
1. Volunteer at a library or school in the community (this is also great for college students)
2. Find out if there are any recycling programs in your area and sign up to be a part of it
3. Volunteer to be a part of the clean-up committee for your community
4. Adopt a highway or road in need of repair
5. Make sure your city’s recycling policies are up to par with state requirements
6. Organize your neighbors and form a block watch association (watch out, Home Alone)
7. Play an active role in your children’s homework time
8. Help out at a local animal shelter or humane society
9. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
10. Get together with some friends and volunteer for an organization that you support
11. Start a recycling program at work
12. Do something nice for an elderly neighbor – send them flowers, help them with their groceries, etc.
13. Donate old books to hospital waiting rooms
14. Take items that you don’t use anymore to the nearest Salvation Army or Goodwill store
15. Pick up some trash when walking down the street
16. Make flashcards for underprivileged children in your area who are working to pass the GED
17. Attend local city council meetings and voice your concerns for your community
18. Write letters of encouragement to school children at risk of dropping out or who are having difficulty with their studies
19. Do a survey of your neighborhood and see what needs you can fill that aren’t being taken care of by the community
20. Volunteer as a tutor to help school children with their studies
21. Find out if there are any government programs that you qualify for and sign up for them
22. Put together a neighborhood watch program in your area – this is useful not just because it can help reduce crime, but also because it can help create a stronger community bond
23. Adopt an animal at the local animal shelter or humane society
24. Volunteer to be a reader for adults who can’t read well or are illiterate
25. Participate in “clean-ups” of your neighborhood, beach, park, etc. – try working on it with friends or family so it’s more of a social event
26. Hold an old folks day where you invite elderly people to come to hang out, play games, chat, etc. at your house for free
27. Organize car washes to raise money for local organizations that are important to you
28. Donate blood – do this regularly and encourage your friends to do it, too
29. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter in your area – try organizing with friends or family to make it more fun (and give you someone else to clean up after)
30. Visit elderly patients at hospitals (this tip is especially good for teens)
31. Volunteer at a local animal shelter or humane society – either walk dogs, help feed and provide water for the animals, take care of them when they’re sick, etc.
32. Take part in fundraisers that you support
33. Visit nursing homes and see if you can chat with residents to brighten their day
34. Visit the sick in hospitals/homes
35. Do something nice for your neighbor when they least expect it
36. Donate old VCRs, DVDs, CDs, etc to school media centers
37. Participate in an art performance or talent show that benefits charity
38- Help organize a charity event – it can be as simple as a craft fair or dinner
39. Go door to door and ask your neighbors what they think you can do to help improve the neighborhood (civic-minded teens!)
40. Organize a fundraiser for an organization that is important to you at school
41. Start recycling in your school – you could even do something as simple as having faculty members bring in one soda can to recycle every day
42. Organize a car pool at your school
43. Participate in the “seventh grade clean out” where 7th graders around the world donate unwanted items to charity
44. Get together with friends and family and help paint the house of a needy elderly or disabled person in your area
45. Participate in a fund-raising walk for something you care about (or organize one yourself)
46. Organize a clothing drive at school to donate to charity
47. Join more than one team (or club, organization, etc.) – this way you can help out with fundraisers or other activities that benefit charity
48. Put together a fundraiser carnival at school – it can be as simple as an ice cream social or cake walk
49. Have a book drive where you collect gently used books and deliver them to local schools, churches, etc. that need the books
50. Organize a car wash to raise money for something you care about – this can be done at school or in your neighborhood
51. Participate in a local “walk-a-thon” to raise money for something you care about – do this with friends so it’s more fun
52. Organize a walk-a-thon at school or as part of club activity and see how much money you can raise for a local charity
53. Collect online star ratings and reviews from reputable charities on your school fund-raising webpage – this is a great way to encourage people to give their time or money
54. Make Christmas cards for the elderly in nursing homes, hospitalized veterans, etc. instead of buying them (or making Easter cards, birthday cards, etc)
55. Ask your school to turn the water in all of the drinking fountains off and fill them with juice, tea or lemonade instead – give your friends a challenge: how many paper cups can they get before their thirst is quenched?
56. Hold an old-fashioned pie sale – this can be as simple as buying a pie at the grocery store, making a sign and encouraging friends and family to buy them (bake one or more pies yourself and donate them for an added bonus!)
57. Organize a food drive at school – make sure you also put together information packets to go with the canned goods about why it’s important to donate to food banks
58. Have a bake sale – you could do this at school with friends or in your neighborhood where all of the proceeds can go towards charity
59. Encourage local stores, restaurants, and markets to give free hot dogs, chips, drinks, and other snacks as prizes during games or raffles at school fundraisers
60. Organize a car wash in your neighborhood to raise money for someone who needs it (and to clean off all of the neighborhood cars!)
61. Hold a silent auction (or a raffle) at school or in your community- make sure you get lots of donations from friends and family, local businesses, and, if possible, celebrities and other notables
62. Organize a walk-a-thon in your community and donate the proceeds to charity – you could also do this at school with friends(do it in secret and then surprise everyone with your good deed!)
63. Collect change from students at school (or neighborhood kids) and turn it in for a daily prize drawing at your school or neighborhood car wash/fundraiser
64. Have an ice cream social instead of hosting a dinner or pizza party – this way everyone will want to come and you’ll raise money for charity, too!
65. Organize a “garage sale” with clothing, accessories, toys, and other items that you no longer need – just be sure to donate the proceeds
66. Organize a school fundraiser “chip-in” where people are asked to collect change from friends and family for one specific cause – make sure you get donations from local politicians if possible
67. Make small pom-poms out of colored tissue paper and sell them as a school fundraiser – if you have a big group, have each person make a few and then have a “pom-pom war” to see who can raise the most money
68. Organize a car wash event at a local car dealership – this way the business owners don’t need to do anything except keep the car wash open longer
69. Donate your old clothes, toys and other items to charity – make sure you get a receipt for your tax purposes
70. Participate in a community-service project that helps take care of the environment or people in need – this will look good on college applications!
71. Help teach young kids to read – this is especially helpful if you’re a really good reader or want to become a teacher
72. Donate old games and toys to community centers, schools and children’s hospitals – make sure you get a receipt for tax purposes as well as to show how much money your donation is worth (you will need these again when you file taxes for the year)
73. Donate supplies to your school library – this can be as simple as donating a few bucks from the allowance you’ve been given or spending a Saturday sorting and organizing books, etc.
74. Help get to register for vote for people who need assistance – this is a great way to learn about what’s going on in your community and it looks good on college applications, too
75. Create a wish list of items that you would like for Christmas or your birthday and donate the list to a local charity with a note from “Santa” telling them which kids are most in need
76. Organize a bake sale but charge to eat the deserts – this way you’ll still get people excited about baking and raising money for charity!
77. Host a lawn sale at your house to raise money for someone in need – be sure everyone signs up in advance so you know how many people will be there and how much money you can raise
78. Walk around your neighborhood and collect donations from people who are willing to donate – make sure you schedule this on a Saturday or Sunday morning so that the lawyers are working hard at their offices!
79. Choose a local charity and hold a fundraising event, such as a dinner or silent auction, in your school gym – be sure to ask for donations from everyone you know and don’t forget the politicians!
80. Plant flowers around the neighborhood to make it look nice – this is also great because you can sell cuttings to the neighbors to make extra money for charity!
81. Host a “bake-off” with your friends in which each person is asked to bake one type of pastry and everyone votes on their favorite – sell the treats at school or donate them when you’re finished!
82. Organize a penny war (this can be done with students in your class or at school) – everyone is given a bucket and asked to collect as many pennies as possible after the first person drops them into their container
83. Organize an auction where people are invited to donate items (such as artwork, sports memorabilia, etc.) that can be sold for charity
84. Donate old books to your local library – if you don’t want to part with them, volunteer to help organize the shelves
85. Collect yarn scraps and donate them to a thrift store that makes blankets for needy kids – ask friends for donations, too
86. Organize an event in which people are challenged to see how many items they can collect within a certain amount of time (30 minutes, 1 hour, etc.)
87. Go door-to-door asking for donations to a charity of your choice – this is especially helpful during the holidays
88. Go to local nursing homes with your parents and sing carols or tell holiday stories – you could also help pass out cookies or oranges!
89. Get some friends together on the weekend and clean up your neighborhood park – this way it will look nice and you can put up a sign to let everyone know your group’s name
90. Hold a garage sale – ask neighbors if they’d like to buy some of your extra stuff before setting up the date and time with the parents
91. Donate old dishes and appliances to a local food pantry – be sure to get a receipt so you can get a tax deduction next year!
92. Ask for donations to buy toiletries, socks, or underwear for the homeless – this is especially helpful during winter months when someone might not have warm clothes
93. Hold a bake sale in which everyone has to bake whatever they’re selling and donate it to your school or another group – ask teachers and friends to help advertise it
94. Organize a summer charity drive in which everyone is asked to bring canned goods, toiletries, or clothing so you can donate them to the needy
95. Donate old pieces of furniture to an organization that will repair items and give them to those in need
– this is a great way to get rid of broken toys, too!
96. Design t-shirts that benefit your favorite charity – sell the shirts at school or online through sites like CafePress
97. Host a backyard carnival complete with games and prizes – charge for each game so you can raise more money for your cause !
98. Host a poetry reading or open mic night – ask for donations from family and friends to make extra money!
99. Organize a bowling night in which everyone brings their own ball and shoes – charge a small fee to cover the cost of prizes
100. Write thank you cards, letters, or notes that can be sold to raise money for a charity
101. Organize a school book drive – ask teachers to donate old textbooks they no longer need and collect the books with the help of friends, family, and neighbors.