Oftentimes, when we think of heroes we think of those famous people, the ones on national news who have done something outrageous and huge. Although its great to have such a wide reaching impact, the most powerful impact one can have is on their own home town.

Home town heroes, just like all heroes, come in many shapes and sizes, and like I’ve said a million times it doesn’t take much to do something heroic especially if its in your own back yard. All it takes is a local perspective, a sense of community, and a little time.

Here are a few ways to achieve hometown hero status:

  1. Buy local: Support local businesses and farmers by buying local instead of from the big box stores. Not only do you help keep unique businesses open and people employed, you also keep more money in the community. According to the 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent local, independently owned establishments $63 stays local compared to less than $43 spent at box stores.
  2. Vote: Local governments are incredibly receptive to constituent concerns and support, more so than at the state or national level. There are always coffee with the representatives, council meetings, and other opportunities to speak directly to candidates and representatives about your concerns. Of course the best way to have your voice heard is by voting.
  3. Volunteer: There are so many ways to support your community. It only takes a few hours a month to make a huge difference. You can tutor local kids, teach a class at the community center, organize a park clean up, or deliver meals to local families. The possibilities are endless, as is the impact.
  4. Throw a block party: National night out is coming soon. Strengthen your community and get to know your neighbors by throwing a block party. Exchange phone numbers and offer to watch out for each other’s property and kids. Not only will you feel safer, but you’ll also enjoy your home that much more.
  5. Become a weekend warrior: Weekend races and festivals are commonplace. Though a great way to get in little exercise and competition, many of the races you see are held to support a cause such as breast cancer or your local food bank. So get out of the house, get some exercise, make it a family event, and support a local cause.
  6. Donate: Local charities do so much for the community. When the economy slumps, these charities are often the hardest hit as their reserves are quickly depleted. Add a few extra cans of food to your groceries this month or send in a check to help out your local food bank or crisis center.

Of course, how you become a hometown hero is only limited by your creativity and abilities so don’t be afraid to think beyond this list. If we all take the time to do a little in our own communities, we can start a snowball effect that will reach far beyond our hometowns.

I would love to hear what you’re doing in your own community!  Share with me in the comments section.