4 Easy Ways to Give Back During the Pandemic
When we think about giving back, our minds often gravitate toward causes that require cash donations. Money is always helpful. But giving back to your community during the pandemic can be much more rewarding and fun if you step a little outside of the box.
Here are some simple ways for you to give back.
Community gardens exist mainly to provide improved access to healthy foods. But they’re beneficial for so much more than that. They help improve the look of neighborhoods, reduce air and noise pollution and help to build a stronger community over time.
Neighborhood gardens are known to help improve both nutrition and our mental health. Volunteering at a local garden is a great way to socialize and make some new friends. Another vital benefit is that they provide food and a home to a wide variety of animals and insects.
Ask around or do an internet search to find your nearest local community garden and sign up to be a volunteer. You’ll reap the benefits of doing something good for your community and you’ll be able to taste the goodness of all of that hard work, when you take home a part of the harvest.
Join “Buy Nothing” Groups
The “buy nothing” concept began as a small project between two friends that has now grown to become a worldwide social movement with groups existing in over 30 nations.
Buy Nothing Groups are simply local gift economies that help build community and reduce waste. The purpose of these groups is to help people to easily get rid of items they don’t need or to save money on the things they do need, all for FREE. No money is exchanged between the giver and receiver.
Find your local Buy Nothing group here.
Support Local Businesses & Restaurants
One of the easiest ways to show your community support during the pandemic is by patronizing local businesses. These businesses employ many essential workers and families who live in your area. Your support helps to keep these businesses in operation and directly benefits your neighbors.
Buying local helps to reduce environmental impact, strengthens local economies and provides an opportunity to get to know people in your community. So, shop local, order food for delivery or pickup, tip your servers and delivery drivers, leave positive reviews and encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Buy CSA Boxes from Local Farms
What is a CSA Box? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes are food boxes stocked by local farmers. They are a great way to support local, seasonal food growers in your area. “Shares” of the crop are offered up for sale through a subscription or membership. Shareholders get a box or bag of fresh food each week, which can include a variety of produce, dairy, meats, flowers etc.
CSA benefits for farmers include receiving funds early enough in the season to help support their cash flows. Growers can focus on marketing their offerings early in the year before they have to go work in the fields.
The benefits to consumers include supporting local growers, buying fresh/farm to table, exposure to new foods and even visits to local farms.
There is a bit of shared risk involved with the CSA model though. Because consumers typically have to pay up front for the whole season, if the harvest isn’t good or it’s slim, there is the possibility of no reimbursement. So, if this option makes you a bit nervous, no worries, you can always show support by simply shopping at your local farmers market.
Find your nearest CSA here.
This is a guest blog post from Candice Straughter of Naturally Stellar, a creative entrepreneur and lifestyle expert who has strong roots in her community and is passionate about giving back – especially during unique circumstances like the pandemic.
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