How to Get Involved in Your Local Community

Hi! I’m Rachel Calderon Navarro and this is
How to Adult. One of the coolest parts of being an adult
is that you have agency. If you don’t like something, you can work
to change it. And if you care about something, you can help
make it even better. By getting involved in your community, you
can affect change in something bigger than yourself and strengthen your sense of belonging. There are lots of different types of community,
but today I want to talk about getting involved in your local community. Feeling connected to your city or town will
make your community stronger and empower you as an individual. Whether you’re in the town you grew up in
or have moved to a new place, figuring out how to engage in your local community as an
adult can be difficult at first. Where do you even start? Well, I’m going to let you in on a little
secret: you’ve been preparing for adulthood your whole life. Remember in school how there were clubs, sports,
organized volunteer opportunities, and things like student government? High schools didn’t invent those things,
they just copied them from the adult world so we could practice being involved in our
communities. And while it’s good to have practiced in
school, another great thing about adulthood is that it’s not high school and you don’t
have to be interested in only the things you were interested in when you were young. You can experiment and try stuff out. So, first, ask yourself what you’re interested
in and wanting to try. If you’re wanting to make positive changes
within your community in an organized way, most cities have clubs that exist to support
the community and organize volunteers. Rotary Clubs and Kiwanis Clubs have resources
for finding volunteer opportunities. You can even join service clubs like this
and build volunteering and outreach into your daily life. These organizations are also great resources
if you just want to ask questions and learn more about what your community needs. Service clubs are nearly always welcoming
new members, so they can share information and help you get involved in your community
in any number of ways. Many non-profit organizations also rely on
volunteers to both carry out their missions and to serve as members of their board of
directors. If there’s a non-profit in your area that’s
doing things you care about, whether it’s sustainable agriculture, rescuing animals,
or turning parking spaces into art galleries, ask them how you can get involved! If you’re interested in being involved in
politics, city council meetings are public free events you can attend. You can contact your city council to find
out the schedule. If you’re in the US, each state has
leadership training groups to help connect and empower future leaders. If you want to be physically active and make
new friends, maybe you should try out a recreational sport or an exercise class. Most communities have a Parks and Rec department
within their city government and you can find out more about it by going to the city’s
government webpage. This is where you’ll find schedules for
team sports and adult rec leagues like ultimate frisbee or softball or curling, whatever you’re
into. Whether you’ve been playing for years, or
trying it out for the first time, there’s most likely going to be a league for you. These teams are meant for amateurs and to
be fun. Parks and Rec departments also frequently
host organized non-competitive activities too, like guided hikes or dance classes. For example , I like working out in a class
setting because it’s fun! A lot of gyms even have classes you don’t
even have to sign up for. You can just walk right in! If your Parks and Rec department doesn’t
have what you’re looking for, it might be because there’s a local club already filling
that roll. You can likely find what you’re looking
for by searching on the internet for the activity you want and your community. Or, and this is where you have to be a little
brave, you can ask someone. If you see a group doing tai chi in the park
or riding bikes together and you want to join them, ask! Athletic activities are a great way to meet
people because there’s something to focus on and a built-in subject to talk about. If you’re looking for creative activities,
a good place to start is art museums or community centers. Most of these places will have a website and
a person at the front desk you can talk to about activities. You can sign up for a class, volunteer at
an event, or join a group that gets together to work on projects. I promise you that every community has talented
people who are willing to teach you how to be more creative. Whether you want to learn how to design and
carve woodblock prints or drink wine and paint a happy tree, there’s probably an outlet
for you nearby. Many communities also have lifelong learning
centers where you can take classes in things like sewing, beekeeping, or ukulele. You can even learn another language! Or if you already know another language, there’s
probably a group that gets together in your area to practice. Community centers and libraries are great
places to find information about classes like these. Most cities also have an online community
events calendar where organizations advertise what they have going on. This is also a good way to learn about a public
lecture or reading. Bookstores frequently host free author events
and sometimes theaters or bars will host a lecturer who wants to teach people about their
subject for free. Where I live, which most people would consider
a smaller town, there’s even a place where you can listen to lectures about insects while
you drink beer! No matter what peaks your interest, you can
probably find something to get involved with. And if you can’t, maybe you need to start
something up! Community and learning centers frequently
need teachers, Parks and Rec departments want to be offering new options to keep people
engaged, and libraries and community centers often provide free meeting spaces for clubs
and classes. If you’re wishing for something in your
community, chances are that other people are too. Getting involved in your local community takes
a little bravery to get started, but the payoff is huge. Communities and organizations need people
to be involved and you deserve a community that you want to be engaged in! It’s kind of awesome: the more you get involved
and take care of your community, the more involved you’ll feel and the more you’ll
care about your community! Let me know if the comments how you’re involved,
or would like to be, in your community. And we’d like to do an episode focusing
specifically on how to get involved in politics or how to start a club. If you have ideas or questions, let us know
that too! Thanks for watching and being a part of this
community with us. It’s good to have you here. And strengthen your sense of- [noises] If you’re in the U.S…. Bleh [Off-screen] Gross This line reminded me of my mom. Or join a group that gets together to work on… …projects [Off-screen] Perfect. Medium. Daaaghhhhhhh [Off-screen] Medium close. Dang. [Laughing Maniacally]

  1. Local health departments might be a good place to start for volunteering too. Mine, at least, has connections all across the county because, well…they look out for the health of people all over the county! Health departments may sponsor different events or partner with different organizations that do events with the health of the community in mind.

  2. VERY US-centric.
    But gives at least an idea of what to search for.

    Tip regarding organizations: toastmasters is also an international organization.

  3. All this reminded me of quidditch. I'm in a community team and it does take a lot of involvement by everyone in the team for it to succeed. Many people find it curious but don't feel brave enough to try it out, but I tell them that they should try it anyway because it is really fun.

  4. thank you so much, I recently noved and felt so out of touch with the community without knowing where to start. This channel is so important tbh

  5. i think this is all really good information. community involvement is really important to me, even now as i'm effectively house-bound.

    something about this particular video makes it seem to me like it's aimed a very young audience. i don't know if it's the writing, the pacing, or just me. (i AM definitely way too old for these videos, so there's a distinct possibility that it's just me!)

    it's just a bit of a shift that doesn't resonate with me now and certainly wouldn't have resonated with me as a teen/young adult. (like i said, i'm old, but i'm pretty sure high school students know that the concepts of volunteerism and student government weren't developed de novo in schools.)

  6. If you are looking for a nerd outlet, please remember your local table top groups, board game groups, and larps. I personally found larps a great way to meet people and make friends. If you are interested in larping, please search google and social media like Facebook for local groups. For other rpg groups always go to your local game shop and inquire.

  7. This is great advice for the youtube/internet generation (myself included!). As great as online communities are, they can also make it easier for one to disengage from their local community.

  8. I signed up for a free organic gardening class through the library and local university extension today! I'm so excited. πŸ™‚

  9. Anyone from Cookeville, Tennessee here? I feel like Cookeville is a desert as far as parks and rec goes.

  10. I have recently with a group started a group in my town.
    Check us out. We are the
    blue iris progressives.
    We have a Facebook group page.

  11. The only thing missing from this is getting involved in local schools. School board meetings are free and open to the public just like city council meetings. Schools always need volunteers and coaches. Don't be afraid to show up to a board meeting and voice your concerns about how local schools are run (even if you do not attend or have children that attend). Don't be afraid, either, to go to a local school and ask if there is anything you can do to help out with.

  12. Good idea for a topic! I'm in this stage right now. The script and delivery felt kinda basic to me though. Like, google what you want to do! Is probably not super helpful advice for today's new adults.

  13. I'm working on this right now. My biggest struggle is finding people close to my age or life stage. The only place I've found with young adults are sports leagues.

  14. This is helpful information, but only really works for towns above a certain size threshold. I get why Missoula's roughly 70 thousand people might feel like a "small" town to some people, but it's a small city – and larger than the biggest city in my state (Maine). I live in a small, semi-rural town of maybe 3 thousand people. A lot of this kind of stuff doesn't exist in municipalities that are very small (probably because they lack the population to sustain the activities), and "local" can mean a 20 to 45+ minute drive to get to opportunities for much of this in other, bigger towns. Local council and school board meetings, for those that are interested, are still available…but most of the rest is impractical or inaccessible.

  15. Dude, I just looked at the volunteer match site and it's incredible. I graduate next month, so I've kind of been panicking about how to fill my time as I job hunt… This video is great, thank you.

  16. i just checked and there is nothing interesting going on anywhere near my house…
    there isnt so much as a bar

  17. I go to to a language exchange every month! I'm working on my 6th language and the group helped me to become a lot better at not only speaking thr language but also at code switching!

  18. Ohh, this is so interesting! Please talk more about topics like these. Maybe you could do a video on how to help refugees and immigrants? I noticed – while looking for my small town's refugee programs – that basically every single small town in my area in Germany offers some sort of program/tutoring/etc and I'm sure it's like this in other places as well but many people might not be aware of that.

    Just last week I started doing something for the local refugee help organisation. They offer one-on-one tutoring for German and for all ages, a sort-of buddy-system for people who just arrived here and (this is what I'm getting involved with now) a tutoring class for every subject apart from German which is mostly maths and economics/bookkeeping. I'm not the best in any of those subjects but I don't need to be perfect. I know enough to help people in 7th to 9th grade and I could really solve some problems the young refugees I talked to had with understanding these topics.
    That was a great feeling and I'm so glad I could do this and I hope I can help them get better in school!

    I was really terrified of going out and meeting all these new people and all that but no need to! Everyone was lovely and it was a great experience and I will certainly try to do this as often as I can.

  19. you missed my favorite – maker spaces. they are similar to tool lending libraries, but focus more on tech toys. so they'll have 3d printers and CNC machines as well as more conventional things, and classes in how to use them and on programming and embedded electronics.

  20. I made the best friendships I have had in a long time through the church I started going to in my city. I found funny, chill, and super-supportive folks that I know will be life-long friends!

  21. I live in a town of about 9000 people, and work in a town of about 1600. All of these activities are much more challenging to find, especially when practically nothing is online.

  22. Did anyone notice a persistent video anomaly in the middle of the video (going the entire height of the video)? I just need to know if I'm too tired right now or if it's the video itself.

  23. Part of my problem doing any of those types of things is physically getting to the locations of things. I can't drive and everything's way too spread out. :<

  24. Can you do an episode about how to use public transportation? I'm from the suburbs and as someone who doesn't drive, I'm clueless as to where to start.

  25. Also if you attend church chances are they have community involvement, or group meetings based on age group, gender, a certain activity like study, or marital status, etc. (:
    Once I settle with a church-home I hope to get involved. The one I go to now always has a bajillion things going on at once.

  26. I always say "I'm not into sports" but that BJJ gi and compound bow are both mine… soooo… maybe I'm just not into "Team" sports.

  27. You can also join places of worship if you're spiritually inclined πŸ™‚ It can be a great way to get involved in your community since most places of worship provide opportunities for volunteering!

  28. I recently decided to pick up playing an instrument I used to play and I'm joining a community band. I've found many communities, even pretty small ones, will have community bands that meet at a local school to practice and just play together.

  29. My wife and I have been dying to get involved in our new community, but felt kind of lost in not knowing how to. Thank you so much for your help!

  30. If you're looking for volunteers work, check your local library – many need all the volunteer help they can get. Also, libraries usually have Friends associations if you want to get involved in your community. If you're looking for a more social activity, book clubs or coloring clubs are great

  31. I go to a bi-weekly social and board game group at a locally owned cafe. It's a great environment to chill and meet new people. I'm very introverted but I met one of my best adult friend there (who started the group actually) and several other good friends. I still have a hard time connecting with new people, but I'm trying anyway. I think the most important thing I've learned is that i don't need to talk to or connect with everyone, being there is often enough to find someone with similar interests to chat with. Casual friends are just as good/important as friends that are around all the time. They have a spin off group for people interested in hiking as well. I don't get to go to game night all the time, because I am also involved with Scouts Canada. Currently i'm a leader in both my kids groups, Beavers (age 5-7) and Scouts (aged 11-14) and that keeps me very busy. I love both groups and cherish and value the friends I made in both areas, possibly particularly because I found both groups almost at the same time and it was just after I got my depression treated and was forcing myself out of an almost decade long social isolation (it was just my husband 2 kids and me for years, with occasional family visits. That's it.)

  32. another excellent service organization is Lions club. I love my club, and there are clubs in over 200 counties. More info at πŸ™‚

  33. At the start of the year, I started learning to ring church bells. It is really cool, because I could get to know people who live in the village I have lived in since I was born, and people who have lived in the city that I now study in (which is a great way to get to know a city, though locals). So its something to do every week (so I don't just sit in my room watching youtube 24/7), its very interesting in terms of the maths (I love maths, but study biology, so a hobby that involves maths is awesome) and I get to meet people and do something fun without pressure of being expected to talk all the time – just use my brain and my muscles πŸ˜› If you're in the UK (or near one of the few towers outside of the UK) you should think about it. Its cool. Ish…. Well not really cool…. shut up… :/


  35. If people's work 1 day free pro month to help others! We will change the world, in an better place! Help others in your community!

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