One thing I love doing is exploring my community and discovering everything it has to offer. I also have a passion for helping others so finding such opportunities to do so is one of my favorite ways to get involved locally. Here are some suggestions for you to get more involved in your community.
The best way to start discovering a new city is to explore it! Start off by being a tourist and then, after you’ve hit all the main attractions, go off the beaten path. In the Fall of 2016 I interned in Downtown Tampa and one of my favorite things to do on my lunch break was wander around the area in search of the best eats and hidden treasures such as beautiful parks. With that being said…
2. Try all the ‘Best Eats’
My husband and I are most definitely foodies; finding new and delicious places for date night is somewhat of a passion of ours. Our list seems never ending, but we are determined to try as many new restaurants as possible. For us, its not just the food that we love, but also the history associated with them and the overall experience they bring. Some Tampa faves include: Oxford Exchange, Ulele, L’Eden, and Columbia.
3. Go to Events
Your city most likely has many free events that you didn’t even know about! One example of this is shown in the picture below. My husband and I were enjoying a nice stroll on the Tampa Riverwalk one Saturday afternoon when we happened across the annual St. Patrick’s Festival, which was super fun! Regardless of whether the event is free or not, social media is now a huge help for finding local events in your area. Follow local city Facebook and Instagram pages to stay updated on what events you can attend (Such as the Mac & Cheese Festival this Saturday!) If you do not have social media, city websites and local radio stations are also great places to find upcoming events in your area.
4. Support Your Local Organizations
This includes sports teams, schools, etc. I’m not the biggest sports fan, but you best believe I will always cheer on the Tampa Bay Lightning at any hockey game. My husband and I also love attending local plays. This past week we saw The Phantom of the Opera at a high school and it was incredible! And for only $8 a person? I’d say a pretty good date night. We also made an effort while attending the University of South Florida to go to as many football games as we could. Supporting local organizations is a great way to unify with others in your community.
The biggest way to make a positive impact in your community is by helping others. This can be a one-time thing such as volunteering at a charity walk, or it could be an on-going venture with more permanent benefits. One of the programs I currently help manage is called ReadingPals. In this program, volunteers are paired with struggling readers from low-income families to help them improve their reading skills. I love mentoring my ReadingPal and knowing I am helping to give her a better future brings me such joy. If nothing else, serving others is the most rewarding thing you can do on this list.
I hope you take the time to do some or all of the things on the list! What are some of the ways you get involved in your community? Let me know in the comments!
Side note: This article was just released on why Tampa Bay is one of the best places for millennials right now!