New Year? New Chances to Build Better Communities

( – Do you want to make more of a difference in your community, but don’t think you have the time to squeeze in volunteer work?

Consider that the average American between age 16-64 spends over 6 hours a day on their computer, laptop or smartphone. If you’re anything like the average American, you just might be able to find the time.

Any little bit of help for someone who can’t do something for themselves, or who requires a little bit of assistance is well-worth whatever time you can spare. If you haven’t come up with a New Years resolution yet, setting aside an hour or two a week could be a simple (and rewarding) way to start your year off on good footing.

Imagine if you pulled away from your phone for just 1 hour to deliver food to some of your elderly neighbors, or even to just grab their mail and check in for a quick conversation or a cup of tea.

That’s a big difference for them – and you still get over 5 hours (on average) of screen time. Also consider that any time you’ve planned to volunteer in your community is time when you won’t be tempted to waste precious hours looking at pointless nonsense on your phone or computer. Pretty good deal.

Not sure where to start?

Here are some ideas to get you going:

Check out your local library. You probably already spend a little bit of time here. Why not spend an hour a week restocking shelves or reading to kids. Or reach out to a local community arts center – you might even be able to help out with a stage production, either behind the scenes or as a lead!

With election season around the corner, there is always a need for poll volunteers. You can also check out schools, hospitals, animal shelters and food banks. There are so many ways to volunteer that you can let your own interests guide how you help out. Don’t let 2024 become another year of 6 hours of screen time a day when you can spend just a little more time engaging with your community in a positive way.

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