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"Go Green" in Your Community

You don’t have to be Irish to love and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. There are countless ways to “get your green on” this time of year—and lift the spirits of others in the process.

Encourage saving o’ the green
There’s no luck required in helping others keep control of their money. Find out how you can prevent neighbors from falling victim to consumer, investment or Medicare fraud. Your skills could enable some people to find a job and connect to new a career, while others could use your help tapping into public assistance programs or simply putting food on their table. You can even teach children to make the right “green” choices early by boosting their financial literacy.

Go green for good
The treasure at the end of the rainbow is more precious than a pot of gold. It’s the earth itself—and everyone benefits when we work on and for it. This March, consider taking part in some rewarding volunteer opportunities around sustainability. You could join or organize a community garden to grow healthy veggies and stock charitable pantries. You could help friends and neighbors trim kilowatts off their energy usage—and dollars off their energy bills—after quick home energy efficiency audits.

You can also keep your community green by reducing landfill over-use. Encourage getting (and giving) all kinds of household goods through sharing sites like Freecycle. By planting a green roof, you can provide new space for local songbirds while reducing pollutants in soil run-off and even cutting cooling costs by up to 30 percent.

Help Irish Setters (and all animals)
Have a soft spot for furry friends? You can find lots of ways to improve the lives of animals in need.

The Humane Society of the United States would welcome you to spend time with abused and neglected animals at any of their animal care centers. Search by state to find opportunities near you. You can get others involved by organizing a pet food bank. Set up your donation site in a high-traffic area, like a local shopping center or school.

If you have families of deployed military members in your community, they may need occasional assistance with their pets—walking them, kitty-litter cleanup or even providing a temporary foster home.

Old vehicles can make a big difference for homeless pets and those who care for them. You can donate yours to help pets through the ASPCA. Everyone wins in this scenario: You move shelter animals closer to loving homes. You have your truck, boat or farm tractor picked up for free. And you may get a tax deduction.

You don’t have to limit your service to pets. There are easy ways to support farm animals around the world, right from your home.

Start a tradition of service
Shamrocks, corn beef and cabbage, parades, giving back—start a new St. Patrick’s tradition of service for the month of March. After all, nothing feels as good as helping others. For more easy ideas, search for “green” and other topics of interest in Volunteer Opportunities right here at Create the Good.

Keep kids positive

St. Patrick’s Day is all about Irish culture, and kids should learn from grown-ups like you that celebration is right and stereotypes are wrong. Prejudices and ethnic jokes can harm young minds. Take some time to educate kids you know that bias—even in the form of supposedly harmless jokes—can take the fun out St. Patrick’s Day, or any day.

Celebrate Earth Day through service
April 22 marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. That gives you a month to plan activities with your friends and neighbors to help preserve the environment in your community. Find fun project ideas for all ages.