Consider simple ways to give back every day

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By ordering takeout or buying from local retailers instead of their big box competitors, residents are giving back to their communities while spending money they would be spending anyway. Valley News/Courtesy photo

TEMECULA – Giving back to one’s community strengthens towns and neighborhoods and makes them better places to live. Many people volunteer with local charitable organizations, while others make annual donations that help charities and nonprofits achieve their missions.

Giving back to your community can require a big commitment, but there are simple ways to give back each day as well. Whether you’re strapped for time and can’t volunteer or simply want to do a little more than you already do to support your community, the following are some simple ways to give back every day.

Support a local business.

Many small businesses have suffered losses and set-backs since the coronavirus pandemic began. Such businesses help communities thrive in many ways, including employing local residents. In the United States, the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy said that nearly 62% of the country’s net new jobs between 1993 and 2016 were created by small businesses. By supporting such firms, whether by ordering takeout or buying from local retailers instead of their big box competitors, residents are giving back to their communities while spending money they would be spending anyway.

Help a neighbor.

The pandemic turned many people’s lives upside down, and some people have had to overcome long periods of isolation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that older adults are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 than younger people, while those with preexisting conditions such as type 2 diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, are at increased risk as well. Because of that heightened risk, such people have been urged to stay at home as much as possible. If you want to give back, offer to help at-risk neighbors with their grocery shopping or other errands that could put them in danger of getting sick. Another way to help at-risk neighbors is to visit them and keep them company. If you do so, wear a mask at all times and stay at least 6 feet away.

Donate used items.

Many people are still working from home full-time as employers remain wait to bring staff back into the office. That extra time at home has no doubt made people realize just how much clutter they have around the house. Rather than leaving items out at the curb for the garbage man to take away, donate lightly used clothing and still-functioning appliances to nearby charities.

Unemployment figures remain high across the country, and more people than ever before are in need of affordable goods. Donating rather than discarding lightly used items can help the less fortunate in your community get through uncertain times.

Giving back to one’s community does not require a significant commitment of time or resources. Simple things that can be done every day can strengthen communities and show support for your neighbors.