Giving back to the local area and helping your neighbors are two forms of philanthropy at the community level. There are many ways to accomplish this without going broke or losing all of your spare time. 

Donating time is often more valuable than a check. The fact that you choose to be present at places like a school, church, recreation center, animal shelter, homeless shelter means you see them as valued. This can be very morale boosting. To that end, offering help with fundraisers and charity functions for projects you care about does the added favor of making you happy as well. In addition to scheduled support, random acts of kindness are a great, fun way of putting a smile on someone’s face. It can be anything from paying it forward in a drive-thru to cutting your neighbor’s lawn. 

The senior community is a great demographic for sharing your time and knowledge and social skills. The companionship is the most important thing to keep seniors from feeling isolated, but they also benefit from any skills you can share. Teaching them how to use email or face time with family members is a great way to help them stay connected. If you are a beautician or nail stylist, you can come in and give free makeovers. For the more independent seniors, you can help drive them around to and from doctor’s appointments or provide food with a meals on wheels service. 

Planting a tree is one of the most satisfactory feelings in the world. Not only are trees essential for the environment, but it’s a legacy you can leave behind long after you’ve gone. It’s a wonderful way to say thank you to Mother Earth for hosting during your visit. And since pollution and climate change are increasingly growing issues, we rely on trees more than ever to absorb carbon dioxide, provide us with oxygen, and release and absorb water. With each tree planted we also encourage homes for wildlife species.

Take recycling seriously. Plastic is a great example of a resource that can be converted into something new, which is another way to help save the planet. This also benefits the economy by exchanging money for recycled plastic materials, offering incentive for people to continue doing it.