Make a difference this summer: How to get involved in your community

(BPT) – Each summer there are countless ways to get involved in your community, whether you’re passionate about animal rescue or cleaning up the environment. Service not only helps build a deepened sense of community, but it also unites families and friends together for a joint cause. With summer in full swing, now is the perfect time to break out of your routine and use those long days to give back.

All you need to make a difference is time and motivation, but where to start? The key is to find something with a personal connection. The following tips will help you take full advantage of opportunities to make an impact in your community, whether big or small.

*Pour into your passions. If your summertime consists of a new outdoor activity every weekend, think about how you can incorporate good deeds into what you’re already doing. Bring a bag on your next hike and pick up litter, which will help keep the trail clean and in its natural state for fellow hikers and wildlife. The park rangers and critters will thank you.

*Spread your wealth of knowledge. Take your education one step further, and share what you’ve learned and mastered with students who may be struggling. Whether you’re the grammar police in the family or you’re a computer programmer who sees life in a series of bits and bytes, head to your local Boys and Girls Club or after-school program to tutor students. Sometimes all a student needs is a little inspiration and a mentor to find their passion.

*Social media with a conscience. Sometimes doing good deeds is as easy as tweeting from your couch. Rally your friends around your favorite nonprofit to not only raise awareness about the cause, but also create the opportunity to award the nonprofit with $ 500,000. Through Microsoft’s Upgrade Your World initiative, the company is donating $ 10 million to 10 global and 100 national nonprofits throughout the next year, and needs your help choosing the 10th global cause. From July 29 through Aug. 30, 2015, simply share your nonprofit of choice over Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, tagging with #upgradeyourworld #vote @[insert charity]. Combine your passion with resources from Microsoft to make an once-in-a-lifetime impact.

No matter how you choose to get involved in your community, the value you can provide to those in need is unmatched. Whether big or small, share your stories, pictures and causes with #UpgradeYourWorld, and see how people across the globe are making a difference.




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