On days like today, a National Day of Service and Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, I tend to get overwhelmed with the pressure of feeling like I make a significant enough contribution to society. As a former stay-at-home parent and now working mom, I barely have time to sit alone and read a book. An article I found is helping me see how I already do give back and discover small ways to help in the future. Here are a couple of suggestions from John Hawthorne's article "Simple Ways to Help the People Next Door...And Around the World".
1. Think local - sometimes there is need right in your back yard. When my kids were younger, our mom's club organized a craft hour with a local nursing center for Alzheimer's patients. The kids had fun making crafts and the patients got personal interaction and to use their hands and keep up their dexterity. As a mom to three young kids, I appreciated the social and activity time for me and my kids. John suggests that connections with like minded individuals can lead to a host of other ideas and projects.
2. Raise funds for the needy - this can be as easy as asking a business to place a coin jar on the counter beside the register. Students might start a coat or used toy drive.
3. Be a mentor - to your own kids and to others. You can help at the local elementary school, listening to kids read or reading to them, helping the teacher copy worksheets, or redecorating a bulletin board. Professionals might mentor college students or at the local senior center.
4. Help promote wellness - among your kids, their friends, and in your community. Mr. Hawthorne writes "The need for public service is driven by the concept of the common good, or what is in the best interest of everyone involved. Promoting a healthy lifestyle has immediate and long-term benefits to society and significantly impacts the viability of the population as a whole." Simple ways to help include volunteering to teach a yoga class or organizing a local walking group for kids or adults.
5. Look globally - in this digital age reaching out is easier than ever. Mr. Hawthorne suggests connecting by communicating with people around the world, whether digitally or via regular mail.
6. Connect with organizations making a difference - seek large charities that do the work you're interested in and help them spread their message online.
For me it feels good to give to my community and others in need, even if it is just spending an hour a week at my local school or visiting older patients. I hope my actions help foster community building in my kids and those around me. So, on this National Day of Service, hug your kids, hug your pets, give a friendly wave to a neighbor. If you're able, build a house, donate to the charity you are passionate about, share the message, little acts do make a difference.
John Hawthorne is a health nut from Canada with a passion for travel and taking part in humanitarian efforts. His writing not only solves a creative need it has also lead to many new opportunities when traveling abroad. You can read his full article at businessconnectworld.com/2017/11/28/simple-ways-help-people-next-door-around-world/
Wishing you peace,