Most people feel the desire to contribute to a better world. It can, however, be difficult to know where to begin. There are plenty of ways to make a difference without traveling abroad or having special qualifications. Volunteering locally is a great way for anyone to build meaningful connections while paying it forward.

Here are 5 ways to give back while connecting with the community.

Look Out For Friends and Neighbors

In the rush hour of daily life, it can be easy to overlook the needs of immediate family members and friends. Observing one’s close circle can often uncover ways to be of service. Older parents and grandparents may benefit from help with daily tasks. A neighbor may be experiencing a challenge you can help alleviate. Simply spending time with someone can make an enormous impact on their social and emotional health.

Prepare and Serve Meals

America is the land of opportunity, but there are still millions of Americans who struggle with hunger or food insecurity. Most cities have food banks or other organizations whose goal is to combat local hunger. Meals on Wheels is a non-profit organization that battles food insecurity by delivering nutritious food to 2.5 million senior citizens daily. Friendly volunteer drivers are always needed to drop off meals and bring a bit of happiness to ailing or housebound seniors.

Coach a Neighborhood Sports Team

Nothing brings a community together like a neighborhood sporting event. Sharing the love of a sport is a great way to get involved with the community. Most areas have both youth and adult teams in need of positive leaders. Sports offer a wonderful opportunity to model good fitness habits and sportsmanship.

Volunteer at a School

Schools are often underfunded and understaffed. There are plenty of ways to give back through donations, classroom assistance or by joining a Board of Directors. Contributing to a school in any capacity helps support a thriving and educated community.

Spend Time at a Senior Center

Senior centers are vibrant ecosystems filled with active and engaged seniors. Volunteers are always needed to provide cultural enrichment, exercise, entertainment, technology training and more. The elderly have vast experiences and wisdom to share. Making friends with a special senior is a rewarding and fun way to make a difference.