Over that past several months our country has been hit time and time again with horrific events. Some of the tragedies have been natural disasters while others have been nothing short of evil acts of humankind. Watching everything happen, I can’t help but wonder what I can do to help the citizens of my country.
I do not doubt that I am unaware of tragedies that have occurred. I don’t watch much news, so it seems I only hear the stories that make it to social media. In a way, I almost prefer to not know of all the ugliness happening around me. It breaks my heart to know of the pain that so many are facing.
Hurricanes have hit our coasts over and over again. Tornadoes have ripped through communities. Fires have burned people out of their homes. People from all over the country fell helpless during a concert in Las Vegas when a man opened fire on them. Most recently, to my knowledge, people attending church in Sutherland Springs, Texas became victims in a mass shooting. In each of these cases, many people have died. Many people have been left feeling helpless and devastated.
My heart has ached tremendously as I have read each of these stories and as I have watched the news. Each of these people affected by these ongoing tragedies are no different than any of us. I can’t help but look at each of them as my family members.
It brings me joy to see how many people have been so eager to help those in need. I have heard of people who have lost everything, and instead of letting themselves get overwhelmed with grief, they have helped others. People have been incredibly generous with their money. There have been a lot of people who have donated items as well as blood.
Seeing how generous so many people have been, I have caught myself wondering what I can do to help. Money isn’t always something that I can give. I live far away enough from most of the natural disasters that donating blood doesn’t help those who have made the news. I can’t travel to join the cleanup crews. Where does this leave me?
I love seeing that humankind isn’t hopeless. It’s easy to think that with all the ugliness in the world, people are no longer decent. These tragedies have shown me that there is still good in the world. Not being able to help those who are in current need doesn’t mean that I can’t help someone. I can do some good by helping those around me. Just because there isn’t a crisis in my local area doesn’t mean people around me don’t need help.
Ways to help in your community:
- Donate blood
- Make a meal for someone in your area that is going through a struggle
- Volunteer to help hospice patients
- Become a mentor
- Volunteer at the Humane Society
- Volunteer at a Food Bank
- Help out at a local Homeless Shelter
- Check with a local hospital and see where they need volunteers
- Help a neighbor with their yard work
- Offer up time to babysit for a family who may be short on funds
- Take a senior who doesn’t drive to the grocery store
- If you have a trade or talent, offer it free of charge to someone in need
- Participate in a money-raising event for something local
The possibilities to help are endless. Serving your community may not prevent terrible things from happening. It won’t do anything to help those in other areas who are in need. What it will do is strengthen your community. It will build a bond with those you are helping. If by some unfortunate chance your community hit with a tragedy, you will already have your foot in the door to assist others. You may be the person in need. By reaching out to others and building bonds with those in your community, you will be known, and others will be aware of your needs.
Helping others, whether locally or more distant is a great thing to do. You can show the world that humanity is still alive a well. Not only will volunteer work help your community, but it will also give you joy in your life.
For more ideas to help in your community, go to justserve.org