When I was younger, I was very involved in community service. I first got interested in community action in my AP Government class in high school. Our teacher required us to do a certain number of community service hours each semester – I typically did more.
One of my most memorable experiences was when a group of my girlfriends and I came together to help a non-profit that helped elderly people move their office location. I will never forget the looks on their faces when they saw a group of high school girls walk into their office and say we were there to move them to their new location. Jaws hit the floor to say the least.
But we surprised them and moved the entire office all by ourselves – desks, heavy filing cabinets, everything. They were very grateful and humbled by the fact that we wouldn’t accept any payment for helping them. We all ended up getting awards from the state legislature for our service, but that’s another story. The true reward was being able to do one small thing to make a big difference to them.
Every day, people are taking small steps to create big change in communities all over the country. Read some of those inspiring stories here.
This month, I’m working with TakePart to help inspire my readers to get involved in their communities.
Want to get involved, but don’t know how?
The Community Action Pack outlines the best of the resources on the web that exist to drive community engagement and action no matter what issue someone is facing. These are the featured digital platforms:
- POPVOX: Find out what issues are being addressed in Congress through an easy-to-use website
- All For Good: Volunteer matching service no matter where you live or how much time you have to offer
- MindMixer: A platform that makes it easier to share ideas with city leaders
- Story of Stuff’s Changemaker Quiz: Find out what type of changemaker you are
- SeeClickFix and CitySourced: Allow you to easily connect and report civic issues directly to your local officials using the camera and GPS in your smartphone
- Sunlight Foundation’s Call On Congress: An 800 number that allows you to track bills in Congress
- Ashoka Changemakers: Get the tools and resources for your idea that can better the world
- Care2: empowering citizens through creating and signing petitions
- NationBuilder and WordPress: The tools to create a website and outreach platform for an issue that’s important for you
- MeetUp: Find or start a meetup group to discuss the issues your community faces and the solutions and changemaking that is possible
- Neighborgoods: Connects people to save money and resources by sharing goods in the hopes of building stronger communities
- Twitter and Facebook: Strategies to leverage social media platforms to make change in your community
Get involved in your community today. Get the Community Action Pack to help you get started.
And look for more tips and posts this month on Happy Mothering, and on my Facebook and Twitter pages.