Supporting your community and also local communities and businesses when you travel can open up a whole new range of activities which you'll find out you enjoy doing, bring you new friends, teach you new skills and make you adopt a completely different lifestyle if this is your will. And what's interesting is that there are different ways to do it, like donating what you don't want anymore or opting for local business whenever you go eating out or shopping — and we believe it's important to spread the word and encourage people to do so, wherever they are. Therefore, here you will find a list with some small actions you can take on your daily life as well as some local places to visit and support when in Dublin. Hope you enjoy your reading! :D
If there is a nice and positive feeling in the world is the one you have when you help people expecting nothing in exchange, when you do it for kindness and to do your part in creating a better world. You know that cliché that "small actions can make a big difference"? So, that's the idea here. When volunteering, you donate a few hours of your time that can change someone's day, week, month and even life. If there is something I am sure: you will always find a volunteer project in your city or in the surrounding areas. The range of activities is huge, and it can go from simply listening to others to becoming part of an organization that supports a specific cause and take part in their activities.
Here it's just a shortlist to inspire you:
Befriending/mentoring people who are going through a hard time of their lives;
Teaching/tutoring about different subjects, like arts, language, culture... the options are endless!;
Become part of organizations that support specific causes and understand how you can add value to it;
Join social organizations that help to feed homeless people in your city;
Sign up to NGOs that pay visits to hospitals;
Join environmental volunteering groups and help them to clean and protect your city.
Here in Dublin, there is a very famous pub called The Bernard Shaw, which is a really cool one and that partners and runs various initiatives in our local community. One really nice one is the "Bin it to win it" campaign, a project to clean the canal located in front of the pub. The idea is simple and amazing: you call into the pub so that they will give you one Brewtonic bin bag, then you collect the rubbish from the canal until you fill the bag, bring it back to the pub and, in exchange, they will get you a free pint! Isn't it amazing!? You are helping the local community and the environment and getting a free pint! Can we have a Amen here!?
Find what you would like to share with others and go for it: I guarantee that no money can pay the feeling you have when you see you can make the difference.
Besides being a more sustainable way of disposal, this is an action that does no harm to anyone involved: you get rid of something you don't want anymore and that can be of great use to someone else that wouldn't be able or don't want to buy a brand new one - so you give a longer life to things instead of just throwing them away.
I bet you've heard about the kindness of the Irish people, right? And this is absolutely true! One really nice curiosity about Ireland and one of the favourite things I've learned about this country so far is that charity shops are very traditional here. From time to time, people go through their closets, take out what they don't want anymore and donate it to charity shops, which resell it in a very very low and more than fair price in order to raise money for varied causes like cancer, Down Syndrome, housing and homeless organizations and many others. I call it one of those win-win situations. What about you!?
Helping your neighbours
Supporting your community doesn't always mean to spend money. Actually, when it comes to this matter, your time is precious and small actions are also very much appreciated. Taking time to check on your neighbours and ask if they are doing okay will create a stronger connection between you. If you have elderly neighbours that might not have someone to help them every day, offer to go shopping for them or to sort small issues they might encounter with house maintenance. Listen to them, be a friend.
Opting for local shops
When it comes to the spending-money part, opting for local and small business instead of giant companies is the way to support the local communities. With quick research, you can find a bit more about the business you would like to support like: where their feedstock come from if they also support other local businesses, if their processes are sustainable and so on. The more we support this kind of business, the more sustainable business will grow and that's how we start to see the impacts of our actions on a global scale! :)
Now I'll give you some tips about some amazing local business in Dublin for you to visit when you are around!
PÓG cafe: you know when you are walking around and you feel like if "I don't have a coffee I can't make it anymore!"? That's the perfect time for a nice coffee and also incredible. And POG cafe is the right spot for this moment. My tip: their pancakes are out of this world! As they like o say: locally sourced x crafted with love! And I completely reassure it!
Wowbuger: think about a delicious burger with "free toppings bonanza" as they describe it, really good fries & free drinks refill. They do have a student offer where you get it all for around €10, depending on the burger you choose! When it comes to their tasty topics, you can choose between grilled mushrooms, grilled onions, raw onions, jalapeños, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, mayo, bbq sauce, hot sauce and WOW SAUCE, or even have them all together! hehe. IT REALLY WORTH IT - and I really need a Wowburger as I write this! :D
Irish Whiskey Museum: being independent of all whiskey distilleries, the museum gives you the opportunity to taste a huge range of Irish whiskeys and tell you the unbiased history of the spirit and its importance in Ireland’s history.
Maktus: this super cool store is full of unusual gifts and cards, perfect if you like to gift your friends with unique souvenirs. They employ both up-and-coming and established in Ireland designers and their goal is to provide quality and functional gifts to customers and sustainable work for their team. Personally speaking, I'm a big fan of them: besides all of that, their staff is always helpful and friendly.
Teddy's Ice Cream: established in Dun Laoghaire (a small town in Dublin's surroundings) in 1950, Teddy's ice cream is now in different locations such as Dublin and Bray, bringing a delicious taste for three generations so far. From the super traditional vanilla ice cream cone to other more sophisticated, I'd say you should go for it! :)
Follow local business on social media / leave positive reviews
Something very simple and that many times is not noticed as a way to support your local community is to follow local businesses on social media, leave a nice comment on their posts sometimes and a nice review on their web page, share their content for more people to find out about them. This is one of the most powerful ways of spreading the word since a person who has already tried the product/service is encouraging other people to do the same. When I say we can make the difference with small actions, this is definitely one of them!
Helping your community is fulfilling and makes us feel part of something bigger, where we feel we are not alone! Besides, it will definitively bring new values and perspectives for your life, which makes us grow and learn a lot! I've mentioned some places to visit for when you are in Dublin, but don't forget about your own community and area: you will always find places and people who need your help in some way. Right now all local communities need our help even more and we want to know: what's your relation with your community? Let's talk about it!