When asked how he copes with the stress of the industry, Chris Evans has described service as being the most meaningful and successful activity. Often when we are struggling with feelings of anxiety or depression it is because we are focused inward. Service provides an opportunity for us to focus outside of ourselves, decreasing such feelings and improving our sense of purpose and value.

Service can also provide opportunities for networking and forming relationships with people we may not otherwise have met. Such relationships can provide additional social support as well as future opportunities for careers or other life experiences. As the weather improves and the regular school year comes to a close, consider spending some time serving. This week we’d like to provide you with a list of 20 things you can do to serve others this summer. We hope this list will encourage you to get outside of yourself and perhaps even try something new.

1. Weed a neighbor’s yard.

2. Wash windows.

3. Pick up trash by the side of the road or at a park.

4. Volunteer at a local shelter.

5. Make dinner for a neighbor in need.

6. Have a garage sale and donate the money to charity.

7. Gather toys for a local child-care center.

8. Hold a puppet show for children in a local hospital.

9. Make posters and raise awareness for a non-profit organization you believe in.

10. Make cards/write letters to veterans.

11. Walk dogs from the local animal shelter.

12. Visit an elderly person in your neighborhood (cookies are always a good opener!)

13. Organize a group to clean up a nearby hiking trail.

14. Volunteer to help at your local library.

15. Mow a neighbor’s lawn.

16. Help a younger child with their schoolwork.

17. Arrange a performance at a home for those with special needs.

18. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

19. Organize a car wash to raise money for a cause.

20. Offer to help watch a parent-in-need’s children for free.