Hi, my name is Lize and I am a second year Communication and Media student at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. My study connects really well with my function within AIESEC. As Digital Marketing Manager I am responsible for the online content on the social media accounts of my Local Committee in Rotterdam. And sometimes I am asked to make content for our national pages, just like this blogpost, for instance.
Often times we want to make an impact that will change the world, however from experience you know that this not really feasible. In order to contribute to making a change we have to start small. Think about your own community or city. Think local. In this blogpost I want to give you some tips on how you can help make a positive change for your community or city. Because knowing where to start can be hard sometimes.
#1 Local volunteering
My tip number one may be the oldest trick in the book when it comes to contributing to your community. It is helping out at one of your local foodbanks. Especially in times like this pandemic, foodbanks can use your help. Go and see if there are any local initiatives that require your help and sign up. Maybe you can do it with a friend, this makes helping more fun and you bring extra help.
My second tip is all about the environment. And it is inspired by the World Cleanup Day. Why wait for one specific date, when you can cleanup your city whenever you can. So, instead of just going for a walk with your friends, take a trash bag with you and start cleaning the
streets you would normally walk through. This way of helping your community is great, because you are not bound to anything, you are out and about, and you are doing something good for the environment. Something that is very important right now.
Tip number three is about education. To contribute to your community, you could decide to mentor or tutor a child. Help them with their schoolwork. See if you can help out at a school. Or ask in your neighborhood if there is someone that could use your help. Tutor help for children can be very expensive, and some parents may not be able to afford it for their children. By volunteering to tutor a child you can really make a difference. This child could have better chances at a higher education, simply because you donated one or maybe two hours of your time to help out. Check out this story about tutoring and see how big of an impact you can have on someone’s life!
#4 Donate your time and energy
The fourth tip is about donating. Not just your money, but even the things you do not use anymore. For example, old clothing that is still of high quality. Donate it to a shelter where people from your community, who are less advantaged, can get it for free or for a small price. Or sell your old furniture that you do not need any more in your Facebook community chat, so that someone else may benefit from it again. With this, you do not just help someone else out. But you are also helping with creating a more circular economy, which is something positive for the environment.
#5 Support your locals
My last tip is not related to volunteering or donating your time and/or money but has more to do with supporting the community around you. Especially during times like this pandemic, we have noticed the importance of supporting your locals. So, if you want to build a strong community around you, make sure that you also support that community around you. During your walk cleaning the cities, maybe you can get a coffee at a small local barista, instead of a big, branded coffee company. Or go to the market to buy your fresh produce, instead of going to the supermarket. Two advantages: the produce is often fresher, and you are helping your local enterprises. These tips may be small, but I belief that they can generate change. You have to start small on your local level. Help out the people within your community and city and make it stronger. Maybe from there on, you can create a bigger change with your community. One small contribution could set up a whole domino effect.