It's often said that change begins in the community, and from there spreads to the world. In these troubling times positive change can feel like a hopeless prospect, but there are a number of simple, straightforward ways to better serve your community. From small solutions to big, any time spent in service will benefit your community and improve the lives of those around you.

1. Tutoring
Many public schools struggle to receive the scholastic and financial reinforcement needed to tend to every child's individual needs and potential. Volunteer-based tutoring programs give children extra assistance in difficult subjects, particularly if their parents are not available to offer help after school, or are not native language speakers.

2. Environmental Care
Community gardens and outdoor clean-up services are a wonderful way to nurture and promote keeping your community's parks, neighborhoods, and public areas clean and beautiful. Begin by forming a planning committee and decide what services you'll provide, from volunteer litter pick-up to a community garden plot. Invite and encourage families and individuals of all ages to contribute, and watch your collective efforts blossom.

3. Volunteer At Your Local Homeless Shelter
Homelessness can occur in any community with formerly well-established citizens suffering the effects of job loss, illness, abuse, and mental illness. Inclusive shelter services such as Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities offer homeless residents a safe place to sleep, as well as spiritual guidance and practical tools to rebuild their lives. Such programs are always in need of caring volunteers, and welcome you to reach out and inquire.

4. Elderly Care
Elderly citizens are often overlooked in their communities, though they are a valuable asset. Care homes and retirement centers are often in need of volunteers to lead or assist in group activities and one-on-one socializing. Wellness and quality of life are vital components in caring for a community's elderly residents, and you may be surprised at the wonderful insights and experiences to be gleaned from their company.

Whether it's tending to a public garden or helping the homeless get back on their feet, there are many ways to contribute to your community. Assisting in after school tutoring sessions or taking time to engage with an elderly citizen can change the life of another soul, and provide your own with an enriching purpose. It’s never too late to make a difference and spread some good in the world.

Author's Bio: 

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.