There’s nothing quite like the feeling of belonging. Humans are social animals, and wanting to be part of some sort of community where there’s support, familiarity and a feeling of shared responsibility for the happiness and well-being of others is almost an instinctive need. Once upon a time, being part of a collective unit was how we survived. And, while we aren’t likely to face marauding thieves from neighboring villages these days, in many ways our well-being is still dependent on the community that we surround ourselves with.
However, sometimes circumstances can make you feel like you’re on the outside looking in. Perhaps you’re newly single, missing a partner who has recently passed away, or living in a new and unfamiliar city or neighborhood, for instance.
Those can certainly be challenging situations to face. Happily, there are simple, small ways to make yourself feel more a part of the community you’re in, to create a sense of community if you don’t have one, and to make the neighborhood where you live warm and welcoming for others too.
How to feel connected and connect with others
- Step outside and say hello. Take a stroll after dinner and stop to have a short conversation with at least one person you meet along the way.
- Introduce yourself if you’re new to the neighborhood and make a point of welcoming others as they move in too.
- Check online to find out where and when the nearest blood donor clinic is being held near you, then recruit friends and neighbors to join you as you give the gift of life.
- Beautify neglected public spaces in your community by getting friends and neighbors to help you prep gardens or planters for summer beauty. Just be sure to check with your city or town first.
- Build a Little Free Library for your front yard and share your love of books with those around you.
- Organize a block or street party. What better way to foster a sense of community than by sharing hot dogs and cold drinks under a warm summer sky?
- Support local merchants whenever you can. It’s important to patronize independent stores (many of which are often owned and run by people living within your community) because it keeps those businesses healthy and thriving.
- Participate in community events. Check notice boards in your building or community centre to find out about fun events in which you might want to participate.
- Support your child or grandchild’s school. Go to bake sales, volunteer to help with clubs and go on field trips.
- Lend a hand with projects happening in your community, such as food or clothing drives or neighborhood beautification initiatives. If you’re a Foresters Financial™ member, visit here to see what volunteer opportunities are available near you.
- Rally others in support of a good cause. Foresters members can use a Foresters Community Volunteer grant as seed money to organize a fundraiser or a volunteer activity for a local charitable organization. Members can also help their community with a $200 Foresters Care™ grant.
Do more with Foresters
If you’re a Foresters member with a passion for giving back, you can use your experience to influence change at Foresters and in your community as a Branch Councillor. Helping to shape our organization and working alongside other members to do good in your community – while making amazing things happen for yourself – is a fantastic opportunity!
Visit here to find out more about the role and to submit your application by June 15, 2023.
420728 CAN/US (05/23)