You may feel like you want to contribute to and volunteer in your community, but don't have the time or resources. According to Yahoo, that couldn't be further from the truth, yet enough of us don't do it.

They determined ten ways to be active in your community, and they include everything from coaching the local school sports team to simply being nice to and sociable with your neighbors.

The Top 5 ways to contribute to your community according to Yahoo's list were:

  • "Regularly help people out"
  • "Volunteer or donate to charity"
  • "Don't cause trouble" (Harder for some people than it sounds...but there are volunteer opportunities to help those kids)
  • "Support local businesses"
  • "Be friendly with your neighbors"

If you're looking for active ways to give back to your hometown and local area in the corridor, we have a few favorite organizations you should contact:

  • Cedar Rapids JayceesFolks between 21-40 can volunteer with the Jaycees to learn business and leadership skills by helping with projects throughout the community, including Uptown Friday Nights every summer.
  • Last Hope Animal RescueOne of a number of animal rescue organizations in the corridor you can volunteer with or donate to.  Others include Saint Rescue & Adoption Center, Dogs Forever, and many more. Google "Cedar Rapids animal rescues" for more information.
  • Eastern Iowa Honor Flight:  A great place to start if you're interested in helping our veterans, the organization sends them on honor flights to the various war memorials in Washington, D.C. There's one coming up in September, and at the very least, you can show up at the airport to greet these brave men and women.
  • Willis Dady and other homeless shelters in the area always have a need for volunteers and supplies, especially around holidays.
  • You can help at your local hospital as a lab assistant, clerical assistant, greeter and more. They even have a volunteer job for a "baby cuddler!"

Habitat for Humanity, The United Way, the library, and your church may also have opportunities to help. Just ask. This just scratches the surface, so be on the lookout for ways you can be that contributing member to society that Yahoo claims enough of us are not!

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