Week 7: Don’t hide behind ignorance
Part of being aware about those around you is to know what is happening in your communities (the good and the not so great). It is easy to say that you’re not doing anything about the issues in your communities because you don’t know what is going on, but let’s be honest, that is just an excuse. How easy it is to see a problem and not do anything about it because you don’t know where to find the solution or you just hope someone else will fix it. How many times have you driven around that pot hole? You’ve assumed someone has called it in, but chances are, everyone else is thinking the same thing as you. The same goes for how much trash you see on the street, homeless people you walk by begging for your spare change and the amount of graffiti defacing the city walls.
It’s time to step-up and start to learn more about what goes on in your area. Attend village, town, or city meetings. Get on the email lists of the neighborhood news. Learn about what the local non-profits are doing to try to improve your area and figure out ways you can help them. You don’t always have to donate your time or money to a non-profit (although, if you can, it is a HUGE help to them as most non-profits couldn’t run without the help of their volunteers). Sometimes a non-profit just needs some extra supplies to cut down on their admin costs or are looking for other types of donations. Sometimes learning about an organization and spreading the word about it to your friends could be a huge help. Maybe you don’t have the time, but your neighbor does and they would really like to get involved.
As important as it is to help those in need around the world, it is also important to make sure your community has what it needs to be a safe, healthy and sustainable.
Not sure how you can get involved? Here are a few resources that might help you get started:
Directory of charities and non-profits in your zip code: http://www2.guidestar.org/NonprofitDirectory.aspx
Seattle City Council: http://www.seattle.gov/council/ (don’t live in Seattle? Just google “City Council” and your city name)
Get Involved: http://www.getinvolved.gov/