Ways to Give Back in Indianapolis

Ways to Give Back in Indianapolis

It can be so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our own lives, that we forget to take the time to give back to our communities. It seems that now more than ever it’s important that we set this time aside to contribute in any way that we are able and work together to strengthen our Indianapolis community. There are many forms of giving back, and this article is written with the intent to provide information & ideas on the many ways that you can get involved if you aren’t already.

Volunteer – volunteering is a great way to give back to the community as it doesn’t cost a penny. If you have some spare time in your schedule, here are some Indianapolis nonprofits that would love to have your help & support:

  • Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana – help combat Hoosier hunger with Gleaners. In the food pantry, volunteers greet & assist clients, stock shelves, and carry items for clients.
  • Keep Indianapolis Beautiful – There are many opportunities for everyone to get involved. Working with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful can entail anything from planting trees, weeding, and mulching, cleaning up litter to building things.
  • Indianapolis Animal Care Services – volunteer tasks include hands-on animal care, such as: dog walking, grooming & bathing, customer interaction within shelter, community outreach, kennel cleaning, and adoption counseling.
  • Best Buddies Citizens - Join Best Buddies Citizens and be matched in a mutually enriching one-to-one friendship with an adult around your age, with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who shares your interests. This is a fun and fulfilling opportunity to promote social inclusion and respect.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana is looking for individuals to serve as positive role models to defend, ignite, and empower the potential of youth in our community. (Note: Volunteers must be 19+ years of age and able to spend 4-6 hours a month with a child, with a 12-month commitment)
  • School on Wheels – volunteers tutor students who have been impacted by homelessness. Tutors will provide academic support for one hour a week at one of the 16 partner locations.

Donate – If you don’t have the time on your hands to volunteer but would still like to give back, donating money and goods is a great alternative option. Here are some ideas:

Small Acts of Kindness – if you don’t have the time to volunteer or the extra cash for donations, you might consider implementing these small acts of kindness into your daily or weekly routine. These ideas are free and take practically no time to do:

  • Pick up litter & throw it away anytime you pass trash on a walk. Keep some gloves or Kleenex and hand sanitizer in your backpack or purse to use when doing so.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line. If you aren’t in a hurry and want to brighten someone’s day, let them jump ahead of you and strike up a friendly conversation.
  • Give a compliment. Like that person’s shoes? Let them know. Think that person has a beautiful smile? Tell them. A small compliment can really turn someone’s day around.
  • Send someone a “thank you” note or write someone a letter letting them know you care. If someone has helped you or brightened your day recently, show them your gratitude with a handwritten note.
  • Help your neighbor with their groceries. Help them carry them in, or if they are elderly and you feel like they could use some extra help—offer to do their shopping for them while you’re out getting your own.
  • Babysit for a family member or friend without asking for payment. Being a parent is a full-time job, and it could mean a lot for someone to have a little time to themselves without having to pay for it.

Giving back doesn’t always have to be a grand gesture nor does it have to cost you a single penny. Sometimes it’s the littlest acts of kindness that make the biggest impact. If you do have the time or money to do more, than great! Oftentimes volunteering & donating prove themselves to be mutually beneficial experiences for both the giver & the receiver. Volunteer work can help you make social connections, develop & grow as a person, gain new knowledge & perspective, and build upon skills that you already have naturally. As writer Robert Ingersoll once put it, “We rise by lifting others.”