6 Ways You Can Make Volunteering a Date

Finding someone who sparks your romantic interest and shares your values can be as rare as finding a diamond in a gravel parking lot. You need to honour a love like that.
Therefore, why stick to the tried-and-true dinner and a movie when date night rolls around? It’s sometimes relaxing, but a better way to nurture your relationship might entail combining your mutual passions into acts of kindness that make the world a bit brighter.
Doing so could deepen your connection. Research shows that volunteering releases a flood of positive neurochemicals like serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. Oxytocin isn’t known as “the cuddle hormone” for no reason!

What should you do to feel closer to your spouse and rekindle your mutual interest in making the world a better place? Here are six ways you can make volunteering a date.

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1. Take Your Kids or Pets to the Park

Date night doesn’t always have to mean leaving the kids at home. Why not do something fun for the whole family that still gives you private time to chat while the young ones play? While this may not sound like the most volunteer-oriented activity, it provides space for the youngsters to develop their social and emotional skills in a positive, natural and nonthreatening environment.

Plus, your patronage does a lot of good for the community. Such facilities encourage youth physical activity and mental development while helping them build social skills and a sense of agency. They also promote inclusivity, bringing children of diverse backgrounds together in the shared pursuit of fun. If you want to support future efforts, consider donating to your local community park fund or signing up for that cleanup advertised on the bulletin board?

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2. Dig Into a Community Garden

What’s more romantic than getting down and dirty on your date? No, this tip doesn’t necessarily mean hot and heavy action — although you might sweat a bit if you work that hoe removing heavy rocks from your plot.

Community gardens are fabulous ways for those who live in urban environments to experience the joy of growing things and build self-sustainability. They also help mitigate the urban heat island effect, a devastating symptom of climate change that can send temperatures soaring to dangerous levels in the summer months. More green is good for the planet. Once you finish reaping your harvest, you can use your haul to cook a romantic dinner for two.

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3. Serve up Soup and Good Vibes

If you’ve gone grocery shopping lately, you know inflation has taken a bite out of your wallet. Think of what it has done to those less fortunate. Roughly one out of every four Americans struggles with food insecurity, and the local soup kitchen may be the one place they can connect with others over a hot meal.

You’ll get to meet some lovely people and listen to their stories. Best of all, you’ll spend time connecting with the one you love. Gratitude boosts any relationship, and reminding yourself of your many blessings — including each other — can make you feel closer.

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4. Keep the Countryside Beautiful

When you drive down some of the nation’s most scenic byways, your view often gets interrupted by garbage scattered along roadsides. It litters beaches and parks, making them unsightly and sometimes downright unsanitary. Someone has to clean up the mess — why not you and your spouse?

You can wait for an official cleanup or take matters into your own hands. For example, why not propose a hike in your favourite nature area? Take two bags and a couple of grabbers with you, placing recyclables in one receptacle and trash in the other as you stroll the trails. As a bonus, you and your sweetie will feel more connected to and sentimental about “your” special spot that you helped to beautify.

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5. Gain Appreciation for the Little Things

Homelessness may be the most underreported crisis facing society today. The recent pandemic sent housing prices soaring, and even professionals like teachers and small-business owners sometimes find themselves living out of their vehicles. Those are the lucky ones — others are resigned to sleeping rough in tents or the cold ground.
You can help by making goodie bags for those less fortunate with the one you love. What should you include? Here’s a short list of items most requested by folks in shelters:

  • Food: Nonperishable items that don’t require cooking are gold. Include cereal bars, canned tuna with pull-tab lids, peanut butter, dried fruit, jerky, wrapped cheese snacks and trail mix.
  • Hygiene items: Feminine hygiene products are always needed. Soap and shampoo are helpful, but wet wipes, sanitiser and body spray are also handy when water isn’t available. Lip balm and lotion are blessings — the winter wind can leave skin raw and miserable.
  • First-aid kits: Those living rough face exposure to hazards without stocked medicine cabinets. Bandages and disinfectant creams for treating minor wounds are gold.
  • Clothing: Clean socks and underwear are musts for keeping bacteria from the skin. Think warm — wool blankets, thick socks and gloves. A sewing kit is also handy for repairing damaged items.

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6. Share Your Political Values

Whether or not it is an election year, things are always happening behind the political scenes. Most of the influencing gets done by small action groups committed to a singular cause, such as advancing health care justice or women’s or LGBTQ+ rights. These groups continue to work with lawmakers to pass legislation that impacts Americans.

If you and your partner support the same cause, sign up for a phone or text bank. Write letters to your representatives or your local newspaper or set up a petition station outside a local grocery — with permission, of course.

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Ways You Can Make Volunteering a Date

It’s rare to find someone who lights your fire and supports the same values you do. However, you must make a conscious effort to keep your relationship fresh. Why not nurture your love by sharing your mutual passion on date night? Consider these six ways to make volunteering a date. You and your spouse can deepen your love while doing good.





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