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100 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Community

— Youth Service America
Updated on Apr 30, 2014

Young people are serving their communities at record numbers. Each year, approximately 13 million teens give 2.4 billion hours of service back to their communities. Here are some ideas for how you can make a difference:

1. Help teach a younger child to read.

2. Help cook and/or serve a meal at a homeless shelter.

3. Gather clothing from your neighbors and donate it to a local shelter.

4. Make “I Care” kits with combs, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc. for the homeless.

5. Pack and hand out food at a local food bank.

6. Adopt a “grand friend” and write them letters and visit them.

7. Visit senior citizens at a nursing home.

8. Rake leaves, shovel snow, clean gutters, or wash windows for a senior citizen.

9. Pick up groceries or medicine for an elderly person.

10. Go for a walk with a senior citizen in your community.

11. Deliver meals to homebound individuals.

12. Hold an afternoon dance for your local nursing home.

13. Teach a senior friend how to use a computer and the Internet.

14. Paint a mural over graffiti.

15. Invite local police officers to present a drug awareness or safety program.

16. Tutor a student that needs help learning English or another subject.

17. Organize a canned goods drive.

18. Clean up a vacant lot or park.

19. Organize a campaign to raise money to purchase and install playground equipment.

20. Plant flowers in public areas that could use some color.

21. Volunteer to help at a Special Olympics event.

22. Set up a buddy system for kids with special needs in your community.

23. Raise money for Braille books for visually impaired people.

24. Read books or the newspaper on tape for visually impaired people.

25. Bring toys to children in the cancer ward of a hospital.

26. Contact your local political representative about key issues.

27. Register people to vote.

28. Organize a public issues forum for your neighborhood.

29. Volunteer at a polling booth the day of an election.

30. Take a friend to the polling booths.

31. Vote.

32. Offer to pass out election materials.

33. Plant a garden or tree where the whole neighborhood can enjoy it.

34. Set up a recycling system for your home.

35. Organize a carpooling campaign in your neighborhood.

36. Adopt an acre of a rainforest.

37. Clean up trash along a river, beach, or in a park.

38. Create a habitat for wildlife.

39. Create a campaign to encourage biking and walking.

40. Test the health of the water in your local lakes, rivers, and streams.

41. Contact your local volunteer center for opportunities to serve.

42. Volunteer at your local animal shelter.

43. Help build a home with Habitat for Humanity.

44. Walk a neighbor's dog or pet sit while they are on vacation.

45. Teach Sunday school.

46. Learn to be a peer counselor.

47. Send a letter to one of America's veterans or overseas soldiers.

48. Volunteer at your local youth center.

49. Participate in a marathon for your favorite charity.

50. Become a candy striper at your local hospital.

51. Mentor a young person.

52. Serve your country by joining AmeriCorps.

53. Become a volunteer firefighter or EMT.

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