As a cheerleader, you've probably done a lot of fundraising and relied heavily on community support. Here is your chance to give back and make a difference in your community. We know cheerleaders have big hearts, so here are five ways to use them:

1. Partner with local organizations.

There are so many options for organizations to get involved with, so it's important to find one whose mission is close to your heart. You could sign up as a team for a Race for the Cure or other charity race, hold a clothing drive for a homeless shelter, volunteer at a Boys and Girls Club, etc. You could also work with your local elementary school to organize a cheer camp for younger kids where you teach them a routine they can perform at one of your games.

2. Volunteer.

Fill a need in your community by volunteering to help run an event, work at a soup kitchen, clean up a nearby park, or any other opportunities you can find!

3. Raise money for charity.

Next time you hold  a fundraiser for your team, consider donating a portion of the money you raise to a charity. This will  help those in need, while also increasing participation at the fundraiser  by encouraging more people to get involvedespecially if the charity you choose can advertise or promote the event.

4. Participate at community events.

If there is a town event coming up, find out how you can get involved. Maybe you can make a float for a parade or set up a face-painting booth at a fair or carnival. Having a presence in the community will make events more fun and build a positive reputation for your school and squad.

5. Invite the public to your games.

Get the community involved by encouraging people to come out to football and basketball games. They will get to enjoy a fun night out, catch the game, and see you cheer! Get people to come by posting the football schedule at some key places around town, like elementary schools, gyms, and coffee shops. Invite your family and friends by word of mouth and spread the word about games on social media. 

How is your squad making a difference in your community?