Development Crossing

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

Are you looking to make a difference in your community? (updated)Approximately 1.6 million more volunteers served in 2009 than in 2008, making this the largest single-year increase in the number of volunteers since 2003 (annual data collection for volunteering statistics started in 2002). A total of 63.4 million volunteers contributed 8.1 billion hours of service in 2009, equaling an estimated dollar value of approximately $169 billion for their services.

Here are 100 ways to 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.

54. Donate books to your local library.

55. Donate clothes to the Salvation Army.

56. Start a book club in your area.

57. Adopt a pet from the Humane Society.

58. Hold a door open for someone.

59. Give up your seat on the bus or train to someone.

60. Donate your old computer to a school.

61. Give blood.

62. Coach a children's sports team.

63. Become an organ donor.

64. Teach a dance class.

65. Participate in Job Shadow Day (February 2).

66. Organize a project for National Youth Service Day (visit

67. Volunteer on a hotline.

68. Meet with local representatives from your area.

69. Don't drink and drive.

70. Listen to others.

71. Write a letter to the editor about an issue you care about.

72. Bring others with you when you volunteer.

73. Shop at local, family owned businesses.

74. Become a Big Brother or Big Sister.

75. Take a historical tour of your community.

76. Write a note to a teacher that had a positive effect on you.

77. Get together with some friends to buy holiday presents for a family at a shelter.

78. Recycle.

79. Drive responsibly.

80. Get CPR and First Aid certification.

81. Don't litter.

82. Shop responsibly.

83. Don't spread or start gossip.

84. Tell someone that you appreciate him/her.

85. Hold a teddy bear drive for foster children, fire victims, etc.

86. Make a care package for an elderly or shut-in person.

87. Teach at an adult literacy center.

88. Sing for residents at a nursing home.

89. Befriend a new student or neighbor.

90. Baby sit.

91. Look for the good in all people.

92. Coordinate a book drive.

93. Donate money to your favorite charity.

94. Make quilts or baby clothes for low-income families.

95. Bake cookies and bring them to your local fire or police station.

96. Donate toys or suitcases to foster children.

97. When visiting someone in a hospital, talk to someone that doesn't have many visitors.

98. Around the holidays, visit the Post Office and answer some letters to Santa.

99. Start a neighborhood welcome committee.

100.Visit to find volunteer opportunities in your area.

Views: 251

Comment by Raphael Wanjaria Njararuhi on August 9, 2010 at 6:15am
Comment by Meg Applegy on August 10, 2010 at 6:58am
Great post. Would it be possible to use it on my blog How to Make a Difference - with full credit and a link back your blog of course :)
Comment by Ian Berry on August 17, 2010 at 5:16am
Great post I too would like to share this with the folk at differencemakers community with permission of course Pls let me know.
Best wishes
Comment by Ian Berry on August 17, 2010 at 5:18am
PS to my last comment Suggest you make friends with Chris Jarvis who is big on best practice in volunterring
Comment by azher Adil on August 17, 2010 at 9:37am
Dear Caroline,
great work. i am really impress. can i have this for my organization. i will publicize "Here are 100 ways to make a difference" by your name through brochures or posters etc.
Comment by PATRICIA ELIZABETH TORRES VILLANUEVA on August 17, 2010 at 4:25pm
These are wonderful suggestions. I organize what I call rural tourism to the poorest communities in the State of Jalisco and spend a day with the artisans who are not working any more, with the ladies in the communities to give us their magnificent recipies, with the fishermen who own old fashioned wooden boats to make a tour around a small lake in the vicinity, we go up to the mountain to gather lumber and mushrooms, it is a great sharing experience with the senior citizens and their wisdom, we share with all of them and have a memorable day together, I recommend everybody attending to bring clothes, books, and food for them plus if possible a donation to enhance the beauty of all these little towns abandoned by the politicians and the government with no help or hope amidst such a beautiful scenery. You are cordially invited to join any of these tours when visiting Mexico.
Comment by Caroline Ganun on August 18, 2010 at 4:13pm
as long you source it is, ok to share on other sources.
have a great day
Comment by Munim Shah on August 19, 2010 at 3:37am
wonderful and very impressive work and by picking up or adopting even a single one of these can make a betterchange.Excellent.
Comment by azher Adil on August 20, 2010 at 12:55am
Thank you very much Caroline .....
Comment by Caroline Ganun on August 21, 2010 at 6:56pm
thanks for the feed back Adil


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