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20 easy ways to volunteer in your community right now

You can better your community — and your life — by volunteering for causes you care about. It’s been proven that helping others is good not only for the recipients of your largesse, but for enhancing your own well-being, too. While carving time out of your busy schedule to do some good work may seem daunting, there are plenty of opportunities to help, even if you only have a few minutes, an hour, or an afternoon.

Here are great ways to get started with a cause you care about.

If you love animals

  • 5 minutes: Spread the word about at-risk animals up for adoption to your neighbors, congregation, kids’ teachers and others in your community.
  • 30 minutes: Make sock-bone pet toys out of athletic socks by knotting the ends and donate them to pets in need.
  • An hour: After you’ve cleared an initial vetting, you can spend time playing with and caring for cats and dogs at your local shelter.
  • Ongoing: Create a temporary home for a shelter animal by fostering one that is awaiting permanent adoption.

Ready to help animals in your area? Click here.

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If you’re passionate about the environment

  • 5 minutes: Toss your vegetable food scraps into the garden or a compost container, rather than throwing them in the garbage. Encourage your neighbors to do the same.
  • 30 minutes: Spend some time cleaning up a local park or playground.
  • An hour: Plant drought-resistant plants for a greener, healthier community. Share cuttings from those plants with neighbors to plant in their own yards.
  • Ongoing: Organize a neighborhood safe-disposal group that collects batteries, electronics, paint and more for safe disposal once a month.

Ready to help improve the environment? Click here.

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If you want to help combat hunger and homelessness

  • 5 minutes: Give a piece of fruit, bottle of water, or snack bar to a person in need on your way to work.
  • 30 minutes: Donate used clothing or non-perishable food to a local organization.
  • An hour: Volunteer to help serve breakfast or lunch at a local soup kitchen.
  • Ongoing: Join a local organization that helps at-risk citizens get back on their feet through job counseling, life-skills classes, and more.

Ready to help at-risk citizens in your area? Click here.

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If you want to help education in your community

  • 5 minutes: Pass along books your kids have outgrown to younger neighborhood kids.
  • 30 minutes: Gather up books and unused school supplies to donate to your local school or library.
  • An hour: Sign up for after-school tutoring programs in subjects that come naturally to you.
  • Ongoing: Volunteer for adult education support at local organizations. Programs exist to help adults work towards getting their GED, become proficient in English, or work on professional development skills.

Ready to get involved with education efforts in your neighborhood? Click here.

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If you want to help your community’s elderly citizens

  • 5 minutes: Sign up with an organization to make wellness calls to home-bound seniors.
  • 30 minutes: Help an elderly neighbor remain independent by taking her to run errands.
  • An hour: Keep local nursing home residents company by volunteering to spend time with them—playing board games, reading, or just chatting.
  • Ongoing: Sign up with a local organization that pairs you with a senior to regularly visit.

Ready to help elderly citizens in your area? Click here.

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With NeighborhoodofGood.com, State Farm is helping people across the country turn the power of caring into the act of doing. Together, we can spark a movement that empowers others to give back to their communities. Visit NeighborhoodofGood.com to get started.

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