It's SUMMER! That means at least six weeks or more of holiday time, which you can spend volunteering. Just finished your exams? Great! Volunteering can help fatten up your CV ready for job applications or even University ones too. Head out to your local area and see if anyone is in need of volunteers; the best thing you can do is just ask. Local dog or cat rescue shelters are good places to start if you love animals, and I've known vets to take people on too. Clubs such as Brownies can always do with helpers, and if you're proficient in a sport there are often events organised for younger children that I can promise will be grateful for some help. I'm not even that sporty- dance is my preferred area -but I've actually helped out with three sport related events already this summer. Just remember, the opportunities you get are entirely dependant on you looking for them, so put yourself out there! Of course, you have to remember that availability can vary depending on your age, but if you look hard enough you are sure to find some great options that are suited to you.
2. Get Sponsored
This one is probably the most obvious, but it can make a world of a difference. In the summertime you will always find great events to take part in that you can get people to sponsor you for. Whether it's a marathon or colour run or a race through the mud, if it's for a good cause you'll find that people are happy to donate some money and sponsor you. Of course, this isn't limited to runs: you can get sponsored for loads of different activities. This can be sky diving if you're looking for something extreme, and even staying silent all day if you're not. Or be creative and organise a read-a-thon or a dance-off that people can get sponsored for partaking in. The point is, the choice is yours, and in the process you can raise money for a charity or local hospice, for example. You don't have to raise a huge amount of money; people will be grateful that you've put in the effort and contributed at least a small amount to furthering cancer research or helping refugees. That itself is amazing enough to improve the world.
3. Summer Clear Out
So school's over, and your parents are telling you to clear out your room. I've been there, although I have yet to properly do it- who knows when I'll need this year's maths notes? Still, I have a huge pile of unwanted books sat outside my bedroom door and I'm sure you are in a similar situation. All those old clothes, decorations, books and piles of 'things' you need to get rid of? Well they can improve the world. Donate them to charity shops or places like Oxfam and they can then sell them for a profit which can then be used to improve the lives of other people. It's as easy as literally shoving everything in your car and dropping it off at your local place. It's worth noting that old blankets and towels can also be given to dog and cat shelters, old books to libraries or schools and whole lot of other places. It's a simple thing to do- the only difference is that you don't class it as improving the world, when in reality, that's exactly what it is.
4. Use Your Artistic Talents
I've included something for the sporty people, but for all of you lot like me that prefer running in the opposite direction to a netball, this is another brilliant option. If you love art, you can produce some paintings or drawings that you can sell at local events like school fairs or festivals. The money you make can then be given to an organisation that supports something you feel strongly about, such as LOVE146 which aims to bring an end to human trafficking. The same applies for all types of art, including music or film; you're free to use what you love to help others. You also don't actually have to make money from these things. If you can, it's actually a whole lot more challenging but rewarding to produce art that raises awareness of a problem. If you need some inspiration, check out these photos by Linda Forsell that raise awareness of child pregnancies in poor countries. This is personally, one of my favourite options if you want to improve the world, because it shows some serious dedication to fighting injustice!
5. Get Writing
Maybe you've known you were going to be a world-class author since the age of two, or maybe you've just always loved reading. Maybe you hate reading with a passion (WHAT!?). It doesn't matter; you should try out some writing. You see, if you've ever seen the film Dead Poet's Society, you'll know that words and ideas can change the world. If you've ever seen or heard of Hamilton, you'll know that words and ideas can change the world, especially if you're the kind of person that's up for writing 51 essays. So if you're coming to me and asking, "Rita, how can I improve the world?" I'm going to tell you to get writing. It can be a book that you'll ensure never sees the light of day, or a blog or even a diary. Write down your thoughts, your feelings, your hopes, your dreams. You'll probably never feel like you're actually improving the world, but I can honestly say to you that you are. Write those words and ideas down, because you never know what they may bring.