How to Give Back to Your Community

by omni

Support is a two-way street! You may have noticed when reading the other articles in our Fundraising Series that many of the activities rely on direct donations from members of your community. Not only are they your neighbors, they are also some of your biggest fans and supporters, and your team should make time each year to thank them for their hard work and encouragement. This week’s blog will provide a few ideas to help you launch your own community project, and share some truly inspiring stories of young people helping their communities. Evaluate “What does my community need?” A great question to ask yourself before you start volunteer work. A cheerleading team is already very busy with practice, games and competition preparation so their availability will be limited. Find out what your community needs most so that you can be certain your efforts are reaching the most people. Get inspired! Students Help Out in Inner City: A varsity cheerleading squad took a field trip to the inner city to volunteer their time. Members of the cheerleading squad mentored other young girls by teaching them a cheerleading routine. Shift Funds Is there something you are already doing that would allow for a reallocation of funds? If you have already reached your fundraising goal with a popular recurring program or event, why not keep it running and donate the money to a business, cause or individual that is deserving. Get inspired! Teens Raise Money for Peer Hurt in Accident: A cheerleading program is using its weekly teen night to raise money for a 15-year-old who was left paralyzed after a motocross accident in May. The program will raise money every Wednesday until mid-August. Partner Up Is there a national organization that has a strong local presence? A perk to this type of sponsorship is that it will cut down on the time needed to plan and prepare your own program. Since you are working with a program that is already established, most likely your team will just be committing to donating their time. Get inspired! Girl Scout Event Teaches Participants Self-Confidence: The Girl Scout Leadership Journey Series, “It’s Your Story, Tell It Through Cheerleading,” helps girls develop practical life skills around healthy living. Activities during the two-day event had the girls moving and thinking in creative and physically challenging ways. Being able to stand up and be proud of themselves was part of the cheerleading lesson. Once you have worked out some goals for your program and decided which direction is best for your team, here is a list of recommended places to check for local volunteer opportunities: Local soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food drives Blood drives Literacy programs Hospitals Libraries Animal shelters Remember, while your main goal may start out as supporting your own community, don’t forget to check into programs that can help with the bigger picture: Locks of Love Habitat for Humanity Special Olympics State parks Ronald McDonald House The American Red Cross Check out the Complete Guide To Fundraising For Cheerleading Has your team found an innovative way to give back to their community? Share your story here!

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