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Opportunities for community involvement are everywhere if you think to look for them. It’s easy enough to drop some spare change in a local organization’s community donation box while you’re at the supermarket or doctor’s office – but what if you want to do more? While the value of monetary donations should never be overlooked, I believe that giving your time, effort, and skills to a cause can ultimately be more helpful to achieving it. Here, I outline a few ways that community members can combine their passion for the outdoors with their support for a cause.

 

Volunteer to Coach

 

Did you play basketball in college? How’s your tennis serve? If you have a passion for a sport, consider sharing it! With the rising popularity of online games and attention-sucking apps, getting kids to unglue from the screen and engage with the real world is more difficult than ever. By involving children in sports, however, they learn valuable interpersonal and physical skills that can help carry them to success later in life. If you love a sport and think you have what it takes to be a coach, head over to your local community center and offer to help out!

 

Run (Or Bike) for a Cause

Everyone has an organization they support or a cause they feel passionate about. Support your cause by showing up to their events! Cause-based organizations often organize walks, 5K events, and cycling races to raise awareness and/or funds to support their causes. Spending an afternoon out on the cycling course is a great way to exercise, meet like-minded people, and support a favorite cause.

 

Organize Ongoing Community Games

Community-building takes work, consistency, and perseverance. A one-time charitable event might bring people together – but imagine how wonderful it would be to keep them involved! Reach out to local community centers to see if you can start or aid in establishing ongoing community sporting events or casual games!

 

Preserve Your Sport

Baseball, football, and cycling are all urban activities that will probably stick around for another century or two. But for climbers and kayakers, that security simply doesn’t exist. Organizations like the AccessFund and RiverKeeper are currently hard at work trying to combat the environmental deterioration, pollution, and erosion of public lands – but they need help. If you are an avid hiker, climber, or explorer, consider reaching out to an environmentally-minded organization! Without widespread support, we stand lose the natural spaces we all love.