Health comes in many forms—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and more. It’s our greatest resource as individuals and communities, allowing us to serve others and feel rich in energy and impact. It can also require some real wealth—the knowledge to live healthily and the finances to afford fresh food and the services that keep us smiling.
Give blood, get moving, find your niche in nutrition—whatever you do, help ensure your community is happy, healthy and thriving.
Fresh is best
Every day, we learn more about the far-reaching and long-lasting benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re our best source of necessary nutrients, they help us feel energized and optimistic and they’re some of the tastiest treats around!
Help break down the barrier to food access. Start by helping someone apply for a food assistance program like SNAP. Read up the relationship between SNAP and farmers markets —and see if your local market accepts SNAP. You can also donate to a “market matching program” that matches, dollar for dollar, the amount of SNAP, WIC or EBT funds redeemed by an individual at a market.
Are you a healthy cooking guru? Make a book of your favorite healthy recipes, recruit friends and family to add their own and get permission to leave it at your local market, schools and shelters. You can also host a demonstration and show the community how easy—and tasty—healthy food is to prepare.
Convene for community health
What better time to think about health than spring and summer? With so much bright flora, they are the seasons to be outside and rally your community members. The easiest—and most affordable—way to improve your community health is to get active with a walking group. It’ll make for good conversation in between paces, allowing your neighbors to bond while they work up a (healthy) sweat. Get your hands dirty and start or join a community garden! It can be loads of fun, especially when you’re with a group of dedicated volunteers. Plus, everyone will get a good workout while preserving the beauty of your community. Even better—it’s another great way to bridge the gap between low income families and fresh food. Plant vegetables and donate the harvest to a local family or charity, like Ample Harvest or Feeding America. You can also lend a helping hand by completing a community member’s yard work or chores. Offer to spread mulch, repair an old fence, wash windows or paint. Post your offer on Create the Good to recruit a team.
Keep your community clean
Healthy applies to everything around us, including Mother Earth. The easiest ways to maintain the health of our planet and your community right now are already available to many of us: Recycle, pick up trash (be sure to wear gloves and brightly colored clothing) or plant trees in your local park. You can also improve your community’s health by reducing transportation-related greenhouse gases. Set up a community carpool, walk or bike—and encouraging your community members to do the same. You may even want to organize a Bike to Work Day to coincide with Bike Month . And if you have to drive, try adopting a highway to offset some of the emissions impact.
Give the gift of life
Physical health is perhaps the foundation for all wellness. Staying healthy is the only way we can lead lives of service, and your work may inspire someone to pay it forward and continue the chain of community improvement!
You can also volunteer at a free health clinic or organize a one-time clinic. Brick-and-mortar and pop-up health fairs provide care to the uninsured and are always looking for help from medical professionals and others.
Find more healthy opportunities
Visit Create the Good to find more volunteer opportunities for supporting your community's health.
For many, summer is about fun in the sun, but heat can be dangerous in some areas. Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen to help protect against UV rays and seek out shade when you can.
Anyone can enjoy asparagus, broccoli, hummus and all the delectable dishes that are good for our bodies and minds. Help your neighbors save by shopping smart and prepping ahead of time.