Giving Back to Your Community

Uncategorized Nov 01, 2018

As a school owner or instructor, you’re considered a community leader. Whether or not you think about it, owning a business helps your local community. You’re teaching children, teens and adults, and possibly employing others. You are a leader. People look up to you. Kids especially will notice how you treat others, when you give back, and how you help those in need.


The holidays tend to be when everyone starts planning ways they can give back. But really, it’s something we should focus on year-round. I encourage you to review your 2019 calendar and start planning what community activities you could get involved with throughout the year. Find things you can get your students thoroughly involved in, too.


Participating in community events is not just a good way to teach your students about helping others, but it’s also an excellent way to get your name out there in public. You can create positive buzz about your school. If you’re consistent in your community efforts, people will begin to respect your services. Before you know it, your volunteer force will be one of the reasons new students come to your school!


There are several resources you can utilize to assist you. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for a calendar of events. Do online searches for information about donations and popular charities looking for assistance. It’s also important to network with other community leaders so you can be aware of what additional events are happening and potentially partner with other local businesses.


Once you’ve found a direction you’d like to take, look inside your school for a core group of families that represent the best your school has to offer. Excited martial arts students, members of your Leadership or Black Belt Teams, and highly involved parents are a good place to start. You’ll be using these families as ambassadors for your school. In return, they’ll learn about community, sharing and service to others.


There’s a plethora of options for volunteer work, no matter where you live and where your school is located. But if you’re not sure where to start, check out these ideas below.


Adopt a School

Find an academic school to adopt. Set an appointment with a school administrator to discuss your interest in becoming a volunteer at the school. Public schools can be strict when it comes to allowing businesses to volunteer at the school. Perhaps you can suggest teaching an antibullying

seminar to students. Additional ideas include:

  • Be involved in recognition programs for excellence in the classroom.
  • Create an After-School Safety List and offer to teach a free safety class.
  • Participate in drug-free campaigns.
  • Offer self-defense workshops for parents and teachers.
  • Provide free child care during PTA events.
  • Provide refreshments at parent/teacher conferences and school events.
  • Host a drive at your school to get donations of school supplies.


Become a Volunteer Center

Whether you find a particular charity to support, or prefer to perform services for multiple causes, you and your students should get be involved. With community service, you can bring people in your doors, increase awareness of a charity, and get your name out to the public.


Here are some activities you can do as a school:

  • Offer free community self-defense workshops.
  • Have a free community car wash.
  • Visit your local animal shelter and help walk the dogs or clean kennels.
  • Have your students show their martial arts skills at a retirement community.
  • Adopt a playground to maintain.
  • Adopt a stretch of roadside to maintain.
  • Have your students plant a tree on Earth Day.
  • Host a canned-food drive for Thanksgiving.
  • Volunteer at your local soup kitchens.


Remember that with community service, consistency is key. Get out there and get involved! You’re not only building a name for yourself in the community, but the more you get the students involved, the more they will feel part of your school. Ask your students what charities or causes they care about and see how you can encourage them to come up with an event the school can help with.


It’s important to make the most of every opportunity. In this case, boosting your community involvement while finding ways to motivate your students, parents and employees to give back. Best of luck out there!


Melissa Torres is the Martial Arts Industry Association Division Manager and can be reached at [email protected]


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