Every now and then we are gloriously burdened with the dangling question, “What can I do to give back to my community?” We always hear how famous celebrities give back to their hometown by creating businesses, non-profits, scholarships, and educational programs, or by making huge donations to their charity or organization of choice. We may believe that we must have wads of cash to give back in certain ways. Yes, it takes monetary investment, but mainly what we need to invest is our talents. Based on whatever gift we may possess listed below, here’s how you can impact the community for the better.
Whether you’re gifted at singing, composing music, or playing music, there are several ways to give to the community. Teaching classes goes a long way. You can rent out recreational space and train the younger generation in playing instruments and how to exercise vocal talent. Try signing up as a performer at a local restaurant that has live music. Become a member of a music ministry at your church, whether you’re in the band or choir. Better yet, you can create your own music ministry with a team of musicians and singers and spread the Gospel all throughout your community.
Are you into photography? Try dabbling with photojournalism—a way of covering current events by means of descriptive photos of the event or its aftermath. This will vividly inform readers of what’s happening in the community. You can also try exploring your city and taking photos of the hidden beauties that very few natives know about. Use your photography to captivate everyday life in your community (very much like the “Humans of New York” photos!).
What about painting? You can become an art instructor at a local “paint and sip” studio. You can create storytelling artwork and see about having it featured in a local museum or publication. Again, teaching recreational art classes for the community will awaken creativity inside of anyone who’s interested.
Writing is such a useful gift that it is easily overlooked, because we read something every day—whether it’s a flyer, a text message, an e-mail, or even a Facebook update. But talented writers occupy an important place in the community! If writing is your gift, you can share it by blogging, becoming a tutor who helps students with writing academic papers, a journalist for a local newspaper, or a contributing writer for a local publication! You can also consider becoming a personal writing consultant and help locals with creating resumes, cover letters, invitations, or even books!
Documentaries are captivating for the community. If you’re into directing and producing documentaries, you can seek out city natives who have compelling and poignant stories to tell. It gives the viewer an eye of what’s going on around them and of the kind of people who live in their community. Documentaries can also leave the viewer with a chilling “call-to-action” kind of feeling. If it’s a true-story film that evokes empathy from the public, there’s a strong chance that more locals will get involved and try to alleviate any issues a given community may face.
SEWING & KNITTING
Sewing and knitting are quite practical ways to deliver clothing, and therefore warmth, to people like the homeless and needy families. You can create stylish and basic clothing items and sell them, or donate them to homeless shelters or any local organization that gives to those who have less.
Leadership is a powerful gift to have in the community. No matter what shape a community is in, there is always a great need for more bold folks who will assert their role as leaders. Leadership manifests itself in numerous avenues, such as teaching, ministering, mentoring, and being a public speaker. Do you have an urge to be an educator? Educate youth on things that aren’t taught in schools, such as starting a business or attaining and maintaining good credit. Do you want to preach the Gospel to lost souls in the city? Start a church or a Bible study, even if you have to meet in your own living room!
Ask yourself: “What will be my mission in using my gift? What thoughts, ideas, or stories am I destined to share and how will they impact the community for the better?”