Now that summer is in full swing, the warm weather is wonderful motivation to bring your team outdoors and make a local impact. Service projects and volunteering opportunities make for great team bonding experiences that also help strengthen your local community. We’ve highlighted a few Chicago organizations that are local to us and that we believe create valuable change for our community. However, no matter where you live, there are resources available for you to take part in these activities. Here are some of our favorite ways to get outside and give back.
1. Clean up a local river or beach
Accessible and efficient, local waterside clean-ups create tangible, immediate impact that bring the whole team into the fold for a period of intense but rewarding work. The Friends of the Chicago River, while most known for their annual Chicago River Day clean-up, hosts a variety of other programs to ensure constant maintenance of the river’s health.
2. Run to raise money
Running as part of charity programs is a great way to appreciate the outdoors while contributing to intimate and impactful causes. Whether it’s a 5K or a full marathon, there are many different organizations eager for active individuals and teams to help make a difference. Find a race near you here.
3. Adopt a flowerbed and create a community garden
Brighten up a piece of your neighborhood by registering to create and grow a community garden, which can be a wonderful and sustainable commitment to showcase to your local area. Consider using native plants to preserve the integrity of local wildlife. If you’re stuck on where to begin, the Chicago Community Gardeners Association always has new opportunities to get involved.
4. Build a home
The amenities that come with a house surpass far more than just the physical -- having a stable home and the chance at affordable housing plays a critical role in strengthening community bonds. Habitat for Humanity has a plethora of outdoor opportunities in many locations across the country to do meaningful and fulfilling work.
5. Work with wildlife
It’s hard to imagine a more unique opportunity to engage with the outdoors than to play a fundamental role in preserving the biodiversity of your local neighborhood and community. The Lincoln Park Conservancy provides various experiences surveying and collecting data on frogs, bees, butterflies, and dragonflies in Lincoln Park and beyond.
If you want to send everyone home with a useful and sustainable gift after their day of giving back, consider a custom branded LuminAID solar light. You can even sponsor a light in their name for a family in need. Learn more here.
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