Many of us are fortunate to know locals who are stand out members of society, contributing to making our communities better, healthier, cleaner and happier places to live.
Looking for ways to contribute to your local community and further afield? Here are eight suggestions.
1. Donate blood
There’s probably no gift more valuable than the gift of life, right? Every week, almost 30,000 Australians need blood donations and rolling up your sleeve can contribute to up to 22 different medical treatments.
It’s free to donate, only takes about an hour and you get a yummy treat at the end as a thanks for your time. Plus for every donation you make you could save three lives – that’s right, with just one donation.
Head to lifeblood.com.au today to check your eligibility or see where and how you can donate blood, plasma and platelets.
In a similar vein (pun intended), it’s easier than ever to register as an organ donor – you could improve and save many different lives in the process.
2. Lend a hand as a volunteer
Every year, more than six million Aussies donate their time for the good of others by volunteering – but there’s always room for more!
Volunteering comes in many different forms – from dedicating a few hours a week to supporting a local club, helping a large community event run smoothly, or offering your professional skills or experience, free of charge, to benefit a small organisation.
There’s no shortage of not-for-profits and charities in need of a little extra brains or muscle power, so jump onto the Volunteering WA website as a starting point or check out Volunteering Australia and GoVolunteer for more options.
3. Recycle and learn how to be more sustainable
Upping your recycling game is not only great community practice, you can be satisfied that your efforts – big or small – help make a difference.
But there’s a little bit of know-how needed to ensure you’re recycling as you should. For example, did you know you’re supposed to take the lid off your empty plastic bottles before putting them in recycling?
Planet Ark is an excellent resource for general advice on navigating trickier recycling items.
If you’re cooking at home and have kitchen scraps or leftovers, don’t throw them in the bin. There’s a simple way to start composting at home and a compost mix will add nutrition back to your garden for whatever fruits, veggies and herbs you grow.
4. Support a charity
If you have the means to give a little back to the community and support other local legends doing good things, why not support a charity championing a cause you care about?
With over 50,000 registered charities across Australia, there’s bound to be a cause you can get behind.
The team at ChangePath has assessed over 900 Australian charities to help simplify the decision-making process for individuals or businesses keen to support a worthy cause.
You can also refer to the Australian Charity Guide or the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission as helpful resources to help you find the right organisation to support, for you.
5. Support our talented local performers
Music brings a lot of joy and creativity to our lives, so why not give a little back to the artists?
The best way to support your favourite local artists is by attending their gigs, and concerts and buying their music and merchandise, which puts money directly into their pockets.
Keep a tab on local acts near you by browsing eventfinda or songkick – simply sign up for free and they’ll remind you when your favourites are performing nearby.
6.Support local businesses
There are over two million homegrown business across Australia and each is looking for local households to get behind them.
It’s easier than you might think to support local, which can be as simple as calling up your favourite restaurant to grab some takeaway, or supporting a favourite local business that’s recently shifted online.
Local grocers, butchers and gift shops with locally-sourced produce and goods need all the love they can get – so look local whenever you get the chance and support the businesses that support local communities.
7. Join a local community group to make new friends, get fit or to get to know your local neighbourhood.
Getting involved in your local community is a great way to get to know your neighbours, try new activities and keep mentally and physically healthy.
Programs such as WA-based Act-Belong-Commit encourage keeping socially and physically active for better mental health as well – but you can choose any activity that interests you such as a choir, book club, a new sport or a painting class.
Looking to grow your social networks? Meetup has over 30, 000 members across Australia and features events, personal or professional networking groups, various fun and exciting activities and the chance to find a reliable crew with the same interests as you.
Meetup is free to join and is a great resource if you’re new in town, travelling abroad, want to learn something new or keen to develop a particular skill within a supportive community.
8. Be a good neighbour
Getting to know those who live near you and watching out for each other’s health, wellbeing and property is a great way to share some genuine warm fuzzies across the neighbourhood.
Start by exchanging phone numbers, for use in an emergency, as a simple way of letting them know you care and have their interests at heart.
If your neighbours also know the car you drive and your general weekly activities, they’ll be well placed to notice any suspicious activity or sense when something might not be quite right.
Jump across to the Neighbourhood Watch website for more handy tips on how you can help build a street of legends.