Giving Back Through Your Home


When it comes to doing good in the community, we usually think about writing a check or volunteering our time and energy to make an impact. A lesser known option that is just as impactful is sharing your home. Here are a few ways to you can make a difference!

Create A Friendly Book Exchange

Have you noticed the charming little structures in your neighborhood that look like mailboxes but are filled with books? These structures are products of an idea that originated with the non-profit organization Little Free Library. Recognizing the need to provide 24/7 access to books, Little Free Library seeks to improve the reading achievement of children by increasing their access to books, especially at home. According to the U.S. Department of Education, up to 61% of low-income families do not have any books for their kids at home. Because of Little Free Library, 74% of people report they’ve read a book they normally would not have read, 73% of people say they’ve met more neighbors, and 92% of people say their neighborhood feels like a friendlier place.

Host A Soldier

Whether you live near a military base or you wish to honor our service men and women, you can connect with groups to adopt a soldier, especially during the holidays. Many soldiers are unable to go home for the holidays each year. Fortunately, there are official Adopt A Service Member programs across the country that can connect local families with service members for the holidays.

Help A Cancer Patient

Cancer patients usually need to seek treatment at hospitals and communities far from home. While many hospitals provide lodging, there’s also an opportunity for hosts to step in and provide a place for patients to stay that feels more like home. Programs can vary from area to area, so the best place to start is by connecting with your local hospital.

Become A Student Host Home

Opening your home to an international exchange student is another way to create a sense of community. Connecting exchange students with volunteer host families allows both sides to learn a new culture and share their lives with one another. Find more information about these programs through organizations like AFS-USA and International Student Exchange.


Rachel Witt


NMLS Consumer Access (