In a world of chaos, division, uncertainty, and isolation, so many seem to make time focused on the negative which only fuels all those feelings even more. Too often there becomes a dependency on others such as leaders, friends, family, influencers, and the like on how we react to our surroundings. The truth is, it is up to every individual to determine how they feel, react and live their life. When this concept is understood, individuals have the ability to see things in a different, often more hopeful way. One way to make this happen is by taking time to serve.
See to serve means to take action but some may be asking the question “how can service make any difference?” Well, to put it bluntly, it can. When we put others ahead of ourselves, we gain a greater appreciation for people in general. I would venture to say that at some point in all our lives we have benefited from some type of service effort whether it by from a neighbor, friend, family member or a community organization.
Look, we have an obligation as humans and citizens to help others, and this help should come without any expectation of a return. I can promise you this: You will get something in return, including peace, joy, happiness, and the feeling that you have done something good.
OK, so let us say you have made the decision to get up off the couch and are ready to go make a positive impact by performing some type of service in your community. How does one go about doing this? Although there are hundreds of ways and organizations you can select, here are 10 ways to get involved in your community:
- Reach out to local/national non-profit organizations, such as United Way, Red Cross, etc.
- Contact your local city offices to inquire about advisory committees that you might be able to serve on.
- When you go out to shovel the snow from your driveway, go ahead and take care of your neighbor’s or as you rack your leaves, rake your neighbor’s.
- Special events often are a great opportunity to volunteer. Keep informed by reviewing the community calendar in your area and then make it known you want to help.
- Help in the political process by getting others registered to vote or staffing a voting booth. Call your local elections offices to find out more.
- Many local religions have programs to help support the needy. Reach out and find out how you can be of service.
- Find out what local youth organizations are trying to make a positive difference and volunteer your time, talents, and resources.
- A great way to get involved is to contact your local Rotary Club and find out what type of service projects are being undertaken. With a motto of “Service Above Self,” you can be sure to find some great opportunities.
- Contact your local food bank or soup kitchen and find out when you and your family can go help sort food.
Getting involved in your community is all about action. If you want things to improve, then you must get involved. It is not enough to say you want to help; you must make it happen. When communities unite, amazing things can happen, lives can improve — both the lives of those who serve and of those who benefit from the service. The power of leading by example cannot go underestimated. There are numerous inspiring stories that show the influence giving of your time to help others can have.
When we serve, we become part of the solution. When we serve, we take control of our life. When we serve, we can find real peace, happiness, and joy. When we serve, we bless lives. When we serve, we become better humans.
Get involved in your community!
Here is a small list of some community organization websites where you can look for opportunities to be involved:
- United Way: https://www.unitedway.org/
- The YMCS: https://www.ymca.org/
- Feeding America: https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank
- The Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/
- Rotary International: https://www.rotary.org/en
- Just Serve: https://www.justserve.org/