The 4th of July is a summer highlight for many Americans: we launch fireworks, gobble hot (or tofu!) dogs, play backyard games, and revel in the outdoor festivities that are beloved traditions on this national holiday.
Indulging in these activities is great fun, but don’t forget this date is significant in our country’s history. And volunteering our services to neighborhood causes is an excellent way to celebrate the independence of our great nation.
The definition of “patriotism” is the willingness to sacrifice for one’s country. If everyone sacrificed a piece of their holiday to help neighbors in need, we’d see a positive impact in our communities.
[bctt tweet=”#Patriotism = sacrificing for your country. So this #IndependenceDay, #volunteer at home: “]
So this Independence Day, consider lending a hand to a cause in your neighborhood. Here are five reasons volunteering is a powerful way to create meaningful change in the country we’re celebrating:
1. Help your neighbors
While volunteering abroad is a great way to get out into the world and experience a new culture and new people, helping our neighbors at home is important, too. The day we celebrate our freedom is an especially appropriate time to reach out to fellow Americans in need.
Helping our neighbors improves our neighborhoods; everyone will have more appreciation for the next block party after they spend time contributing to each other’s well being.
2. Meet great people
Backyard BBQs are all about spending time with loved ones — but volunteering in your community allows you to meet new people and make new friends. It’s amazing how we can live so close to people who never cross our paths.
Though celebrating July 4th with friends is fun, inviting NEW friends to join is even better. Get out there and introduce yourself to fellow volunteers this Independence Day, bringing your community closer through the rewarding experience of volunteering together.
3. Do something good for our country
We often think of impoverished nations when deciding where to volunteer. It’s wonderful we can reach out and cross borders while volunteering abroad, but many people are in need of help right in our own backyards.
Did you know that one in six Americans suffers from hunger?
This Independence Day, consider the needs of the people closest to you, and offer your support in making their lives better.
4. Get your hands dirty
Hard work is an American tradition. So really, what better way to celebrate your patriotism than by getting your hands dirty with some good ol’ fashioned manual labor?
Whether you’re building a house or serving food at a shelter, volunteering in our own communities combines two of the values our country was founded on: working hard and helping our neighbors.
Bonus: The more physical the labor, the more hot dogs and hamburgers you can indulge in — guilt free — at the backyard BBQ!
5. Experience something new
You don’t have to be in a foreign land to find interesting volunteer opportunities and enjoy new experiences.
Have you been wanting to start your own garden? Volunteering at a community garden allows you to learn a thing or two from fellow green thumbs. Interested in working with kids? Volunteering at a youth shelter allows you to connect with young people.
Whatever your interests, volunteering is a great way to discover new passions or hobbies.
Thought hot dogs and fireworks may be traditional ways to celebrate the 4th, maybe it’s time for a new tradition. Volunteering your time and efforts this Independence Day demonstrates an appreciation for our fellow Americans and the land we call home.
So show off your stars and stripes this July 4th by volunteering in your own neighborhood. If you’re not sure where to find volunteer opportunities, check VolunteerMatch, Idealist, or Hands On Network.
[bctt tweet=”Is it time for a new #4thofJuly tradition? Try #volunteering this holiday: “]
How are you celebrating the 4th? Any volunteering in your future?