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What can YOU do to make your community a better place?

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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 02:00 PM
Original message
What can YOU do to make your community a better place?
I was out mowing my yard this morning before the rain came in (yet again) and I saw a mother out with her children, walking down the street. The kids were crying. When I could understand exactly what they were crying about it came down to one thing: they were hungry. There was no food in the house.

I recognized her as a neighbor and flagged her down, there was chitchat. I offered her some coffee and the kids some juice. Around that time my child woke up (8:30) and I inquired as to who was hungry. They all had pancakes and eggs for breakfast.

I found out from the mother that they were walking across town to the local food pantry to see if they could qualify for assistance. She asked if she could use the phone (hers was shut off), which I allowed. She called for a ride, the ride picked them up and they were on their way.

This got me to thinking about exactly what I could personally do to make my community a better place. Yes, I can call and write letters and even show up to public events hosted by my reps, which I do on a regular basis. I can write LTTE about poverty, about homelessness, about the state of the nation and my community. I have also done this but the question today is:

What can I do to make my community a better place? And what can others do to make it a better place?


I want ideas and not just for my community but for other communities all over the US. I want each of us to think about what little thing we could do that would be helpful in this moment, in the next week, the next month, even next fall. Could you grow a few extra tomato plants and donate them to the food pantry? Could you offer to teach a free class in preserving food or even in "extreme couponing", as a way to show people how to save more money? Can you volunteer to clean up a park this weekend or work at a local charity shop? Maybe you could buy some clothesline and clothespins at the local Dollar Tree and donate them to a pantry or a shelter, allowing a family to hang up a clothesline and maybe save some money on their laundry bill? (Our local food pantry has its volunteers put the extra items on a table and gives instruction to allow each family to take something.) Or maybe you could volunteer at a local nursing home to read or assist with activities?

I know this is a long post but what can you do to make things better? For a change of pace I want the politics left out of this. I want to know what little things we can all do to make our communities better. (And if there are lurkers out there reading this, please think about what you can do too. Political differences shouldn't always play a part in what you can do to make you community better! If someone has a good idea, no matter what party they affiliate with, shouldn't it be implemented?)
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. Recommended. I guess I could stop eating everyone's brains.
Every time I eat someone's brains he or she starts voting Republican.
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. If you stop eating brains
where will all of my great zombie movies come from? And if you quit turning others into zombies there will be no season two of Walking Dead and how will I spend my Sunday evenings come this summer or fall, depending on which source you read?
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Excellent points. nt
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obxhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. Help fundies and republicans pack up to move.
:evilgrin:

k&r. I'm sure your kindness was appreciated. :)
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. My kid was hungry anyway.
Why not give a few others something too.
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
3. That was a very good thing that you did
I don't like to see people, especially children go hungry. I hope this woman can get food stamps.
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I hope the pantry has a box for her.
But what can the rest of us do?
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
8. Habitat for Humanity. Meals on Wheels. Volunteer with the local soup kitchen. Do GED tutoring.
If you have language skills, offer to help translate where needed. Type Braille books for the Blind ...
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Thank you!
This is what I had in mind when I posted this.

I'd love to have people brainstorm ways to immediately make their communities a better place.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Maybe there's a volunteer center in your area. Here are some volunteer openings from listing
at my town's volunteer center

After School Volunteer
Mentor
Rails-to-trails
Mediation Services
Tutors
Website Manager
Writer
Library Volunteer
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. This is a nice list.
I hope that many here also look at the list and find something that they can do.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. My town volunteer center also points to this website:
www.1-800-volunteer.org
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Very nice! nt
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
14. Move out of it.
:)

Inspired by my father's actions that I learned about a couple years ago, I donate a little each year to a place called Our Father's House, which is the only homeless shelter in the area. It's not a large amount because I'm on a fixed income though, and my budget is very tight each month (usually down to loose change the last few days of each month).

Earlier this year I started volunteering for just one hour a week with some troubled teens, an idea my counselor thought would help me and them. I'm not sure how that's making the community better, but a few weeks back one of the kids thanked me, so hopefully I at least made his personal community a little better somehow. I really hesitated to do it because I'm highly asocial and still don't know what I really offer them, but if I could do more than an hour I would. If I have to leave the house it might as well as be for something useful.

I also volunteered to assist women into the Planned Parenthood that opened here awhile ago, but thankfully that hasn't been needed, and I haven't even heard back from them it's so calm. I've had a couple run ins with Operation Rescue over the years, so it's always fun to piss off militant pro-lifers, but so far there have been no protests so no need to escort anyone.
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