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2020 proved to be a challenging year globally.  Whether you faced unrest and turmoil at a local, state, or national level the chances are to some degree or another your community suffered over the last year.  While we all find ways to cope with our issues, it’s important to remember that we should also be thinking of ways to support those around us as well.  One of the surest ways to lift yourself out of a personal funk is to invest time and energy into supporting your community.  Community support in 2021 is looking like it will take on some very specific shapes and styles.  If you want to engage and help those around you in the new year, check out some of the big trends in community service and philanthropy in 2021.

Helping While Staying Safe

For those with a philanthropic mindset, one of the major challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic has been finding ways to safely dedicate time and energy to helping others.  With the risks of community spread being so high, it’s been difficult to gather in groups to support service based organizations.  Even through the traditional means of showing you care may be off the table, there are still plenty of ways and means to donate.  You could always donate money or goods.  If you’re looking for a more personal donation there’s always a need for plasma and blood donations.  Even basic actions like trying to keep in touch with neighbors and friends can be a small, service-oriented action.  Talk to them about how they are doing, and ask whether you can provide a meal or help a neighbor with yard work. This can be a simple but effective way to scratch your itch to help those around you.

Don’t Let Covid-19 Fatigue Your Care

One of the biggest issues with Covid-19 presently is fatigue around coping with the virus.  People are becoming less and less compliant with basic safety measures necessary to protect themselves and those around them.  While vaccination has begun, it will still be months before the nation is close to a full vaccination.  During this time it’s imperative to still wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, limit your exposure to the outside world as much as possible, and wipe down surfaces in your home regularly.  The simplest community service you can provide right now is being thoughtful about how you interact with your community in the time of a pandemic.  Taking care of yourself is the first step in taking care of others.

Homeless Housing Changes

The pandemic shined a particularly harsh light on the issue of homelessness in our country.  Tent cities have started to crop up in parks and parking lots in cities, leading towards attempts to find more sturdy housing.  One of the more intriguing projects taking place currently is an attempt to modify shipping containers into tiny homes.  Los Angeles is recycling these common pieces of garbage into livable, sustainable housing for those struggling to find shelter presently.  A creative solution that is both reusable and replicable, the long term ramifications of this project are still being determined but early returns say this could be a creative solution to a major problem exacerbated by the pandemic.