Sometimes we all feel overwhelmed with the things we MUST do...leaving little time for the things that we SHOULD do. I have been trying to improve my little piece of the world taking baby steps and thought I would share some easy ways that you can make a difference in your town or community. The easiest way is, of course, to give money. When the finances don't allow, or if you just want to be more hands-on, here are some ideas.
- Give Blood! There is never enough blood supply for all of those who need it. I find the American Red Cross makes it very easy and it is only an hour out of my day every couple of months.
- Donate your time to a local organization. It doesn't have to be philanthropic (although it could be). Your help is needed at schools, senior centers, libraries, Children's sports teams. Be aware, many of these organizations will require a TB test and may even do a background check.
- Speak at a Local Career Fair. It doesn't matter what you do to earn your living, students would like to hear about it. Imagine being a 12 year old and hearing that someone was a "Program Manager." We all know what that means (I think), but they have no idea. Contact your local Middle Schools, High Schools and even Elementary Schools. If they have a Career Fair, they will be thrilled to have your help!
- Recycle.Our family has always recycled, but I am trying to drive our efforts up a notch by encouraging more than just soda cans. What about shampoos bottles (the act of carrying them downstairs has somehow excused us all from this effort) and the the cardboard boxes that personal care products come in? We shred anything with our name and address on it and then put all the shredding into a clear plastic bag for paper recycling--we used to just throw it out. If you area does not actively recycle, how about trying to get a program started?
- Walk More. Next time you need to deposit something at the bank or drop something at the post office, take a walk! Who cares if it is a mile (or two, or three)? Don't you remember walking everywhere when you were a kid? This one is a 2-fer since besides reducing your carbon footprint, it could count as your daily exercise.
- Vote.If you don't like the way things are going in your area, speak up! Unless we all make our voices heard, a small minority of people decide the way things will be. Make sure you don't ignore this very important right (and privilege).
These are just a couple of ideas. Think about things that are important to you and find a way to contribute! I would love to hear about your suggestions for other easy ways to make a difference.
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