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Community First

(3.) It’s Time to Put Your Community First

Listening to the endless party based ideology talk and fighting’s that is going on up there in Washington D.C. is enough to totally stress you out. Instead of getting yourself stressed up by the indecisiveness and time wasting Washington DC why not focus on what is happening in your own community first.

What is going on in your own community is what matters more anyway. Quit listening so much to what the national scenario is. There are many ways to become involved in your own community and you will be surprised how that can make a difference in your own community. Check out these suggestions below.

Putting Your Community First

Oftentimes, people think they have to give money to help out their community. When people don't have extra money to give away, it can be discouraging when they'd really like to help others. But there are other ways a person can put their community first, even if they themselves are having financial troubles.

It doesn't always mean you have to spend money. It does not take a lot of gas to drive elderly people to doctor appointments or do their shopping for them or with them. Many senior citizens are not in a nursing home and still maintain some independence. But they also usually stop driving after a certain age and need help getting around, especially if they have no family near-by.

Visit a local senior citizen's center and talk to the management there to see how you can help. If everyone uses the bus and doesn't need help running errands, there are likely many other ideas the managers can come up with, like reading to the residents, visiting them just to talk and listen, playing games, helping them send out Christmas cards, pushing them around in their wheelchairs and just simply caring. Any acts of kindness to the elderly can help make their final time on earth much more pleasant if more people opened their hearts instead of just their wallets.

Take your empty aluminum cans to a homeless shelter or animal shelter and let them recycle your cans to help feed the needy. If these shelters do not have accessible containers to toss in your cans, you could suggest it to them as a way to lighten their financial burdens. It might not mean much for one person to recycle their cans and get $5 or less, but if enough people gave their cans to a shelter, it would really add up and give them extra money to help those they service.

So think about what you can give that does not cost money when you really don't have any to spare - collect clothing from family and friends to turn in to the shelters or centers in your town - turn in your cans to recycle and encourage others to do the same - visit shelters and centers and ask what you can do to help.

by: Deserj Rose

10 tips for improving your community first

1.) Join the Town Council:

Join your town's council. This will enable you to have a voice in what your town does. It could include deciding about a traffic light on a particular corner, improvements to the park or building a senior-activity center, establishing local online community colleges. These things could make your town nicer to live in.

2.) Volunteer at a Nursing Home:

Many times people in a nursing home do not get regular visits from family and friends. By being a volunteer you can brighten their day. You can read to them or just sit and talk with them. They will appreciate this so much. This can be very rewarding.

3.) After-School Program:

Your local elementary school could sponsor an after-school program. Often times they need more adults to help with supervising, entertaining or teaching the kids. These programs often prevent parents from paying extra daycare or babysitting fees.

4.) Public or Private Schools:

These schools can use all the helping hands they can get. There are many activities which require more adults to be involved. Whether you have kids in these schools or not you volunteering will be welcomed.

5.) Libraries:

Libraries have reading programs for kids and other special events. You could become one of the storytellers on a regular basis. This is helping the children develop better reading skills.

6.) Food Pantries:

Food pantries are where poor people or people struggling can turn for food. These places not only need volunteers but food donations too.

See all the ways that you can make a difference in your own community?

Putting Community First by Keeping It Green

It’s amazing what a little bit of foliage can do for the people of an inner city community. As a young person I often got in trouble, and one of the ways my school district rehabilitated wayward youth was by making them (me!) plant trees around town on the weekend.

After acting a fool in school one too many times I found myself on the business end of a shovel and spade, several of my friends and I spent the better part of many of our weekends planting sprouts. I hated it at first, but after a while I came to love what I was doing. So much so I kept it up after my detention had been served!

I think there is something special in this sort of service oriented “community first” type of rehabilitation and I’d like to see it implemented more often not only in my community but elsewhere.

There’s something unique about putting into the ground something that will last for generations, there’s something so simple, so inherently good, in tilling a bit of soil and dropping in a sapling. It humbled us, this group of guys who thought we were tough, above everybody else. It showed us we were capable of more than just acting up. It showed us we could really add to our environment.

Sure, my friends and I grumbled at first. We thought it was a joke and a waste of time, but after we broke a sweat and started to relax, started to really get into the rhythm of things – we found it wasn’t a terrible way to spend a weekend.

The only downside to this sort of community involvement is the fact that we go to where we enjoyed our punishment more than school! But be that as it may the entire experience built character, and now, whenever I return to my home town, I like to stop and see those little sprouts which have become great big trees.

by: Abdullah

7.) Talent:

Putting your community first means giving back with your time, talents and treasures. What is in you that represents a unique talent? Just like a business serving customers with a niche, individuals serve their community with talent. Identify your talent, whether it be data analysis, campaigning, governance, socializing, planning – and fill in your community’s gaps with your specialized interest.

8.) Passion:

Only approach those community needs that you are most passionate about. If you join a team out of obligation, you are not putting your community first. Passion equals progress, and the fire inside you...the most burning, and sometimes controversial motivations...should always be forthright. When you are passionate, people will follow. Do your community justice by serving those needs in which you are most personally connected. Your passion will shine through.

9.) Research:

To gain introspect on improving your specialized charity; attend one their organized events or a similar event hosted by another charity. Observe the attendees and listen to their commentary about the event, and note ways that you could improve upon the next event. Search the internet for projects that other charities are doing and document what works and what doesn’t work. You can also conduct a community survey; this will give you a pulse on TRUE community needs, and not just what your peers may be talking about. Spend time understanding the most critical needs of your community first before taking any strategic action.

10.) Be the Example:

Communities in need are looking for great leaders. Speak up and be assertive about your visions. Don’t talk yourself out of asking “stupid questions” or sharing radical ideas. If others before you respond with “we’ve already tried that”…don’t be afraid to revisit those strategies by leading a renewed charge with a modern twist. As a leader, attempting to please everyone will drive your mission into the ground and stifle progress; set firm expectations and encourage your team to follow through with them.

Lastly, have fun! The easiest way to gain support is to create a fun and relaxed environment. Sure – fundraising and planning can be grueling projects, but having fun is how the best things get done.

get involved in your community first

Your Community First

how to help your community first - Take the initiative:

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