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You’re the kind of person that likes to give back to the community, and you absolutely love Anchorage. Maybe you just moved here, maybe you’ve been a lifelong resident, or maybe your family has been stationed here for generations. No matter what your relationship to Anchorage is, there are plenty of fun, creative, fulfilling ways that you can contribute to Anchorage’s beautiful culture and community – starting today!
Giving to your community is important both individually, for you, and collectively, for the greater good. It helps you feel like a productive, valuable member of society, because you are! Doing community building work also builds character, while creating a stronger group of people unified by a common cause and better environment for everyone to live in.
It’s one of the most rewarding things you can do as an Anchorage resident, and can yield great returns in your own personal or professional life as well. If you want to start making a difference in your local area, let’s dive right into some concrete ways you can start giving back to the city of Anchorage as soon as possible.
First, doing some good old charity work is great for you and great for Anchorage. Find a cause in the area that matters to you, take a few hours out of your week, and dedicate yourself to contributing to the greater good. It doesn’t even have to be weekly if you can’t fit that into your schedule. Whatever amount of time you can donate will be better than no time at all, even if it’s just an annual commitment.
Finding a cause you care about isn’t hard to do either! Think about what you really value in your life, or some of your favorite hobbies or interests. Find an organization that lines up with those passions, values, or interests, and reach out to see how you can help them. Volunteer opportunities are plentiful in the Anchorage area – start exploring some here.
There’s a cause for everyone in Anchorage, whether it be environmental, cultural, health-oriented, or a number of other social issues you can participate in. Get your hands dirty by doing local clean-ups, volunteer your time at a medical or cultural center, or offer your unique professional skills to any of the organizations you find. If you have some extra time you’d like to dedicate to the local community, finding a cause and volunteering is one of the best hands-on ways to do so. Here’s a few links to get you started:
But remember that there are many other ways to contribute to these organizations as well, aside from hands on volunteer work. That’s usually the way most people get their foot in the door, but there are plenty of other ways that you can offer your services, time, or money to these charitable causes.
Most non profit organizations rely on donations from the community to keep them afloat and allow them to do the important community work you value and care about. Help them out with a recurring donation to make sure they can keep up the good work! This is a great option if you have an exceptionally busy lifestyle, but a little extra money to spend. Every penny counts too, so don’t be discouraged if you can only afford to give even a few dollars a month. They’ll appreciate it!
Another unique way you can contribute to these charity organizations is by helping them plan and host events in the local area. If you have resources, connections, or professional skills that may help them put on a fundraiser or other type of event, offer your help! This is one of the biggest ways to contribute to a charity you’re really passionate about because it could help them bring back the biggest yields and allow them to do larger projects in the future.
One of the best economic ways to support the local Anchorage community is by shopping local! Let’s be honest, we all love online shopping. It’s simple and easy. But there’s nothing quite like walking into a mom-and-pop shop and seeing the passion in their eyes as the local retailers talk about their product. You’ll walk out feeling like you’ve made a new friend! Fostering these relationships helps you know that you’re buying high quality products and investing in Anchorage, while helping these small shops stay in business.
Shopping at local small businesses also helps the Anchorage economy on a larger scale, encouraging more unique local commerce and contributing to an overall higher quality of life. When you invest in the community, state and federal funding programs recognize it, and allocate more funds to keep Anchorage the bustling, yet homey, city that attracts so many people from all over the world. Let’s preserve and grow Anchorage’s culture by supporting local businesses together.
On a more everyday level, keeping Anchorage clean is a great way to ensure a wonderful community environment. Nature preservation is important to this area because we’re surrounded by such incredible natural parks, lakes, waterways, and other landscapes. Rural Alaska is affected by our everyday actions in the city here, so by keeping Anchorage clean, you’re also preserving the integrity of the land we’ve settled on.
There are countless ways to keep the local Anchorage community clean. In terms of at-home living, try to reduce your overall waste. That means not necessarily buying bulk food that might go to waste, and recycling as much as you can. Look up your local garbage recycling policies and programs to see if there’s a way you can improve your waste practices.
You can also help the environment at home by conserving water where you can. Saving a few minutes in the shower every morning, turning off the water while you brush your teeth, shortening rinse cycles on your dishwasher or laundry machine (if you can), and just generally using less water can make a big difference for the environment and your household bills too! Along these lines, it’s also a great idea to invest in a high quality reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste and the unnecessary waste it takes to produce one-time-use water bottles.
On a more day-to-day level, try reducing your plastic usage. Plastic takes an insurmountably long time to disintegrate in landfills and waterways, if at all, and can really harm local wildlife. Grab a few reusable canvas bags for groceries or other shopping trips, switch to a portable tumbler instead of wasting a coffee cup every day, and try to buy as many packaging-free products as possible to reduce your plastic usage.
Also, this may sound silly, but bringing your lunch to work every day can actually also help the environment (and your health)! Think about it – when you eat out for lunch, how much do you end up throwing away? Including plastic forks, knives, and food packaging. If you bring it from home in a lunchbox and tupperware, you’ll reduce that waste and still have a delicious meal! Homemade meals also tend to be healthier and lighter than take-out, so this is a great switch to make for yourself along with the environment.
You can also simply take a few minutes out of your day, or take a day on the weekend, to clean up a local park or a plot of land by yourself or with friends or family. This is a fun way to bond, while also giving back to the community and making Anchorage a better, cleaner place to live for every resident. No one likes seeing trash on the streets or in the park as they’re trying to go about their day. Be the one who makes this a better place for everyone.
As you can see, there are countless ways of giving to your community here in Anchorage. Whether it’s hands-on volunteer opportunities, other charity work like contributing to non profit organizations on a higher level, shopping with local small businesses, or just keeping Anchorage clean in your everyday life, you can give back to the community in so many ways every single day.
If nothing else has convinced you, keeping Anchorage the great city that it is, and helping to make it better however we can, will inevitably attract more people here who love Anchorage just as much as you do. In turn, they’ll want to give back to the community as well, and these charities and sustainable lifestyles can continue to grow, thus making Anchorage better and better for generations to come.
There are plenty of ways for anyone of any age, profession, background, etc. to contribute to the local area. All it takes is some research and a quick conversation! Find a cause that resonates with you, donate some of your time or effort, and make some small lifestyle changes to make Anchorage the best city it can be.
Dr. Brent Wells has been a trusted chiropractor since moving his family from Oregon to Alaska back in 1998 and founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab – B.S. from Univ. of Nevada, Doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College, volunteer for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation, and member of the American Chiropractic Association. As a chiropractor his focus is on family, including his 3 children and wife of 20+ years, his clinics, and ongoing education.