Get involved! Improve your community’s health!
We know that good health is about more than health care. A thriving and healthy community involves all of us working together to make a difference.
Join a Thurston Thrives action team. Click here to contact us!
However, there are many other ways to improve community health. Here are a few ideas:
When you help others, you are boosting your own health too.
- Join a local service club.
- The United Way’s Volunteer Connections program matches thousands of volunteers with more than 100 organizations to work as elementary school reading buddies, in homeless shelters, at senior centers or food banks, and more. Sign up at http://getconnected.unitedway-thurston.org to find an opportunity for you.
- Mentor a student. The Thurston County Chamber’s Business2Youth Connect connects youth with adults working in fields that match their career interests.
Care about family and neighbors
- Get to know your neighbors. Plan a community garden or block party.
- Develop a support network and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Develop a neighborhood emergency preparedness plan.
- Eat meals together as a family.
- If you have children in your family or home, take time at the end of each day to connect with them.
- Get involved at their school: talk to their teachers, attend parent events, and volunteer there if possible.
- Limit screen time — such as TV, video games, and computers — for kids and adults alike, leaving more time to interact with others.
- Have faith. People who attend church, pray regularly, or practice other forms of spirituality have less stress, which leads to better health.
Care about vulnerable populations
- Hire a person who could use a second chance.
- Dial 2-1-1 to find out about organizations that offer people support in your area, and share information about community resources with others in times of need. Support local charities that are helping those without housing or other basic needs, so that they can do more.
Care about the environment and our community
- Buy more of your groceries from local farmers and producers of food.
- Care for your septic system and our local waters. Don’t flush hazardous substances, including medications, down your drain. Reduce your waste (including food) and properly dispose of what you do have.
- Attend local government and other decision-making meetings, such as city council or school board. Let them know what is important to you, your family, and neighbors. Our community’s connectedness increases from this, and you can shape how our community will look and feel in the future.
- Vote in elections, and consider running for office.
When we collaborate, we are better prepared, stronger, and more resilient — and that means we are healthier and safer.
Thank you to Dr. Rachel C. Wood for contributing to this list.