From the clinicians and staff at Central Iowa Psychological Services
There are so many non-profit organizations that could use your help. Whether it’s working with animals, children, or a health organization – go ahead and reach out to some organizations that are of interest to you to see how you can help. Most organizations have information on their websites, but don’t hesitate to call, e-mail, or ask in person. You can also check out opportunities here: http://volunteeriowa.galaxydigital.com/need/
2. Join, or create, a local club or team that meets regularly (book club, trivia team, pick-up basketball, etc.)
There are tons of book clubs, trivia nights, and recreational sports in every town. Check out meet-up groups, local pubs/restaurants, and gyms. If you don’t see any that look interesting to you, create your own! Find friends, advertise through social media, and create a group that is interesting to you.
3. Get involved in local elections
Getting involved with local elections is a good way to know what is happening in and around your local community and to help promote change in your community. It’s also a great way to connect with others who share similar beliefs.
4. Host an event, discussion, or presentation at your local library
You may have something you are passionate about or an expert in – share your knowledge! Reach out to your local library to host an event or discussion on a topic you are interested in.
5. Get to know the police officers and firefighters
In small towns, these may be volunteer positions. In bigger cities, they often offer tours to the community. Get to know your local first responders. It’s never a bad idea to be on a friendly basis with them. 🙂
6. Take classes at your local library or rec center
The library and Recreational Center have so many different classes to choose from! Whether it is learning a new language, swimming lessons, or even learning how to knit, you can find these classes and more. Taking a class is a great way to meet new people and form more connections throughout your community as well as learn a new skill. Here’s a link to see what is happening at the Des Moines Public Libraries. https://www.dmpl.org/events/list
7. Take advantage of local events – i.e., farmers markets, bandshell events …
Ames, Ankeny, West Des Moines, and all the surrounding towns all have local events. Farmer’s market, live music, outdoor movies, festivals, and more. Check out what is happening in your area by using google, social media, or going to your town’s City Hall (many small towns have calendars of events available). You can also check out these links to see the schedule of farmer’s markets in Iowa
8. Attend City Council and school board meetings regularly and participate with questions and ideas
Many important decisions are made and discussed in these meetings. Stay informed and participate. If you’re feeling motivated, run for a position!
9. Shop local stores in your community to show your support
By shopping locally you are not only supporting the local economy, but you may also find some one-of-a kind items! It is a perfect way to spend an afternoon by yourself, with family, or with friends! It’s also a great way to meet the entrepreneurs in your community.
10. Host a party, or get-together, with people in your surrounding neighborhood
While there events already occurring in your community, nothing’s stopping you from creating your own. Talk to your neighbors about having a block party. Invite friends and neighbors over for a BBQ. And most importantly, enjoy the beautiful summer weather!