Helping the community is something lots of people want to do, but for various reasons don't think they can. These reasons can range from time restrictions to just not knowing how.
However, there are some simple things you can do, on your own or in a group.
One of my favorite ways to help the community is with "homeless bags." Homeless bags are lunch-sized paper bags filled with small items such as food, hygiene products, water bottles, etc. You can hand them out to the homeless or people who wouldn't have the money for these things. It's a great service project for a group, or even something you can do on your own.
A few things you can fill these bags with are:
Small bags of chips or cookies
Soaps, hand sanitizers, wet wipes
Canned Vienna Sausages or nuts
Candy, fruit snacks or small packages of crackers
Combs or brushes
Toothbrushes and toothpaste
Small bottles of lotion or shampoo
A personalized note or card, if you want to say anything to the person receiving your bag.
These are just a few ideas of what you could put in one of these bags. Once you have the items, all you have to do is put them in paper bags and pass them out.
Making this a group service project is easy and fun. I participated in this with my teen home-school social and service club, HOST, recently and have done it with my 4-H group.
Each time I've done it, it's gone great. In my teen home-school club, everyone signed up to buy and bring a package of one of these items. Then we all met at the house of one of the families in the group and put the bags together.
At the end of the night, we all took a few home to pass out individually. This is a simple and easy project that almost anyone can do, and it really means a lot to the people who receive these bags.
Rose Sellman is a freshman at Connecting Waters Charter School and a member of the Teens in the Newsroom Program.