Imagine contributing some of your time to make your community a warmer and friendlier place to live and explore. You might join a group that volunteers, perform some tasks on your own at random or participate in an activity when asked. The goal would be to improve and beautify areas in and around community homes, parks and open spaces by pitching in with a little additional upkeep and maintenance.

We rely too heavily on governments to perform this work when we could be doing some of it ourselves. Large projects would still require funding assistance, but we can decide on what part we do and what part they do. After all, it is our community.

While there is a parcel of budgeted money allotted to our community, we should work with our government representatives to decide how it is spent. If there are rules in place preventing our participatory involvement initially, the plan would be to work out what we can do now and how we can change those rules to allow us to do more. We can have more and/or better placed garbage receptacles and work out with governments where to dispose of the waste and who would supply the bags. Since we don’t want to access additional government resources, we can do this ourselves.

We can decide on temporary solutions for potholes and sidewalk issues and many more issues such as who provides power, gas and internet. Since we live in these communities, it is in our best interest to make sure they work well for everyone in every season. We need to ensure our community is active in all four seasons knowing it requires effort on our part for that to happen.

We need to ask ourselves the question of whether people are too busy for additional volunteer tasks because of personal and family commitments or because they have been programmed into thinking that the work belongs to others. The benefits of volunteering might be hard to measure but they are there.

Volunteering can range from picking up the trash blown around your property or park to teaching a movement class at the local community center. It can be emptying garbage cans regularly or helping out with batting practice. It can be cutting someone’s grass or shoveling someone’s sidewalk.

When others are isolated or cannot participate in basic activities, your volunteering effort makes a world of difference for them. Volunteering in your community will elevate your self-esteem and your pride in your surroundings.