Some of us love to join in and get involved wherever we can while others are not so inclined. If you find yourself in the second group, you might feel reluctant to step out of your comfort zone when faced with an opportunity to get involved. So, why get involved in your community, anyway? You might be surprised to know that involvement in the community may actually may have a positive effect on your health, attitude, and well-being.
Benefits of Being a Part of a Community
We humans are social creatures that need to feel a sense of belonging. Research has shown that there are many benefits of being a part of a community. Those who have a strong sense of community have been shown to experience the highest levels of contentment and happiness. There are actual tangible benefits of community membership and involvement!
Being part of a community bolsters us when times are tough–in more ways than one. Think about the fundraising efforts to help families who experience a tragedy, or those who deliver meals when there is an illness, or the volunteers who place yard signs outside hospitals to show healthcare workers how much they are appreciated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The recipients of this kindness feel tremendous love and support from the community. And those who contribute to the fundraiser, deliver the meals, or make and place the yard signs also reap benefits. Just being involved in something greater than ourselves gives us a sense of purpose and improves the well-being of the community as a whole.
When families, neighborhoods, and businesses devote their time and energy to school improvement/enrichment projects, teachers and students of these schools realize the tremendous benefits of community involvement. Research has shown that strong relationships between families, schools, and the community positively impact student achievement. Greater family involvement in schools tends to correlate with lower absenteeism and dropout rates. If you’ve been wondering how to be part of the education community, check with your local school district. Schools always need volunteers and plan to welcome them again soon once the COVID-19 vaccine is more widely available.
Sometimes being part of a community helps provide the encouragement or motivation we need to achieve a really difficult goal. Think about going to an exercise boot camp at a local park. The members of the class become a community who encourage each other through the difficult parts, hold each other accountable to attend regularly, and then celebrate together when milestones are achieved. Encouragement, accountability, and friendship are also benefits of being part of a community.
How To Get Involved In Your Community
If you’re wondering how to get more involved in your community, we’ve got plenty of ideas.
Community Service Projects
Volunteering to help others is one of the best ways to get involved in the community. There are charitable organizations in every city that assist a wide variety of worthy causes. You can volunteer your time at an animal shelter, a food pantry, or help with an environmental clean up project or a clothing drive. There are so many ways to get involved in the charitable community and if you can’t find a group that supports the cause you are interested in, you can start a group of your own.
Join a Community Group
Another option for getting more involved in your community is to join a group. This might be a group that has a shared interest, such as cycling, bridge, or playing the ukulele. Or it might be a group that meets regularly to talk about community issues or concerns. Many such groups are formed on websites like Meetup.com or Nextdoor.com and hold meetings in person or virtually.
Participate in Organized Community Activities
Depending on where you live, you may have access to organized community activities such as lectures, fitness classes, adult education, etc. Other examples of organized community activities include neighborhood beautification projects and activities in support of your area’s first responders, the local elementary school, or public library.
Join A Community With Shared Values
If you’re looking for ways to get involved in the community, you will find plenty of opportunities when you live in Union Park by Hillwood. Residents in our master-planned community enjoy a wide variety of activities organized by Union Park’s full-time lifestyle manager including community service projects and fun family events. Explore Union Park through a virtual tour or contact us to learn more.