Whether you’ve just moved to a new town or you’re simply looking to get more involved, it can seem daunting when you first try to get more involved in your community. These 5 tips will help you find a place to get involved close to home.
1. Learn a new skill
Taking a class at your local community center can connect you with others who are looking for new relationships. Learning a new skill like baking, knitting, yoga, or woodworking will help you find others with similar interests. Check your city’s online listing of classes to find a good fit for you.
One of the best ways to get involved in a community is to serve it. Whether you take a shift at the local food bank, walk dogs at the city shelter, or volunteer to help with school events, you’re sure to make connections with others. This helps you make a positive difference in your community while meeting new people along the way.
3. Root for the home team
Attending local sporting events is a great way to involve yourself in the town’s culture. Here, you’ll meet people from all walks of life who all have a passion for their team. Dress in your team’s colors and head for the stands, and strike up a conversation with those around you. If that’s not your style, listen carefully to the announcements, and you may hear of an upcoming event that interests you.
4. Look for local events
A community newsletter or even Craigslist can give you the inside scoop on the town’s upcoming events. Attend one of these and you’re sure to find a group to connect with. You’ll have the chance to support local artists and causes and make some new friends along the way.
5. Support local businesses
Shopping locally allows you to connect with farmers, chefs, artisans, and grocers in your community. Supporting their business and making friendly small talk when you visit can spark a long term friendship that translates outside of the business world. These small businesses are also more likely to have the low-down on new community developments and events to look out for, so shopping here keeps you in the loop.
6. Take A Stance
Your participation in governmental issues should not begin and end with each election year. Most of the day-to-day matters that effect your life are determined right in your own town, county, and state. Get involved with political affairs by educating yourself on the issues at hand and encouraging others to do the same. Raise awareness on matters and voice your opinion by showing up to vote.
If community advancement is your passion, considering enrolling in an online masters of public administration degree, or consult someone in the field for more information. In the meantime, take a small step outside your comfort zone with these 6 tips, and you’ll find yourself feeling welcomed into your community before you know it.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.