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How to Support Your Local Community in an Urban City

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

Ideas on How To Be an Active Member of Your Community



As someone who has lived in many urban cities, it is always exciting to be able to support the community you reside in! Whether you are volunteering at the animal shelter or helping out in your community garden there are so many ways to be an active member of your community. Personally, my favorite way to support my community is shopping locally at the farmers market. Below I have listed some ideas on how to get a jump start on this!


stock image of new york city stores

Get Involved By Volunteering


There are so many great places to volunteer in New York City across all 5 boroughs. You can volunteer at animal shelters, youth centers, helping at homeless shelters etc. Volunteering allows you to connect with your community and make it a better place. I think it is super important to be selfless in a city where a lot of people can be extremely self-absorbed; be part of the change that will help others around you! Here are a few ideas for places you can volunteer at in New York City:

  1. Animal Care Center of NYC - ACC of NYC mission is to end animal homelessness in NYC, their goal is to find home for abandoned cats, dogs, rabbits, and guinea pigs. They have locations in Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island and Brooklyn. Right now all adult cats or large dogs have a $5 adoption fee!

  2. Girls Inc. Of New York City - Girls Inc. Of NYC creates programs to prepare girls and young women in leadership, economic literacy, data analytics, healthy sexuality, mental health, media literacy, college preparedness and more. If you can not be a volunteer, Girls Inc. Of New York City also takes donations in various forms.

  3. Free Arts NYC - Free Arts NYC empowers youth from underserved communities through art and mentoring programs to develop their creativity, confidence, and skills to succeed. Some of the ways in which mentors support mentees includes resume and cover letter writing, internship applications, completion of the final project, exploration of creative interests, and creative career preparedness.

Shopping Local


Choosing to shop local instead of purchasing clothing or groceries from larger retailers helps support your local economy. I chose to shop locally by eating seasonally and purchasing most of my produce from the farmers market and like to eat at more farm to table restaurants.

Some examples of shopping locally include:

  1. Grow NYC is a Non-Profit organization that gives New York city residents over 50+ greenmarkets with Union Square Farmers Market being their flagship. Union Square is one of my favorite markets, I love being able to talk to my favorite vendors weekly and try out new produce! Over the years I have become extremely fond of farmers markets, the idea of fueling your body with food and ingredients from the local community is so special to me and I could only hope my local community feels the same.

  2. Amina Mundi Herbals is an apothecary is that sells composed of organic, wildcrafted, and ethically grown botanicals. They aim to continuously source pristine, unadultured and wholesome medicines for mind body and soul wellness. Believing in sustainable growth, from the inception of the plants we use, to our business practice. Their project educates and supports true fair trade practices, beyond organic farming, education, and small farmers to create remedies that benefit people from all walks of life. Personally, from my experience shopping at Amina Mundi I aways find herbs/products that I can't find anywhere else which really makes it super special.

  3. Lichen - Lichen is a design incubator and studio centered around furniture, spatial design, and the discovery of how we interact with these elements--past and present. They are continuing to permeate the autonomous world of interiors by collecting, re-contextualizing, and formulating new thoughts on design with the support of our community. Amongst other things, they sell furniture. Lichen is all about the community they are located in and uplifting it as well.

Even if you can not volunteer in person or I have not really always shopped locally, this is the perfect time to start doing so! Just because you haven't been super involved yet does not mean you cant start now.

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