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  • A few years ago, I was between jobs and was looking for something to do. I wasn’t looking for just “anything” – I wanted something that was meaningful, had value, and would have a positive impact. I found a local women’s shelter and minutes into my “tour”, I became a volunteer. I mostly worked in their “computer lab” which consisted of two (very) old computers in the corner of the lounge. My tasks varied from helping women learn to type to teaching them about SPAM.

    When I wasn’t in the lab, I was sorting through old donations to create “business packs” which consisted of small toiletry items and accessories that women could use to help freshen up before heading out to job interviews. I was proud to be a part of something that not only helped women in need, but also encouraged them to make their lives better, giving them opportunity and assistance in developing new skills and finding jobs.

    Become a Changemaker

    Making a change doesn’t have to involve big campaigns or marches on the Capital (while those are great as well.) Sometimes being a changemaker means starting with something small – starting with a cause that means something to you. Maybe it’s thinking the playground down the street needs to be spruced up, or even just picking up trash off the street. What you’ll discover is that – you aren’t alone. You aren’t the only person who wishes things were better. But you can be the person who starts the waterfall affect to get things done. Check out the first-ever, pro-social Champion Community Change Facebook Connect experience where you can see how easy it is to make a real difference in your community.

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    Get Inspired by these Changemakers

    Every day, people are inspiring change in their homes, communities, and even states. Mama Hill started turned her home into a learning center for youth to help provide community children a safe place to stay after school. Ruth Lande Shuman started a Paint Club that has kids repaint their own inner-city schools, not only turning barren walls into colorful and engaging ways for kids to take ownership. Artist collective Fallen Fruit has turn a public park in Los Angeles into a community orchard where people can pick their own lemons, figs, and other fruit.

    Read more about these inspiring stories.

    Change Starts Now

    Community Action Pack

    If you’re ready to start changing the environment and people around you, change starts now. This Community Action Pack Toolkit has useful resources that can help you on your changemaker journey. It also includes some digital tools that can help you engage your community, such as finding volunteer opportunities, sharing stories, or taking the Changemaker Quiz to see what type of changemaker you are.

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    Are you ready to get started? Leave a comment sharing what change you’d like to champion!

    About Promised Land

    Promised Land Poster

    Promised Land is the new contemporary drama directed by Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk). Matt Damon plays Steve Butler, an ace corporate salesman who is sent along with his partner, Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand), to close a key rural town in his company’s expansion plans. With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Hal Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (John Krasinski), as well as the interest of a local woman (Rosemarie DeWitt). Promised Land explores America at the crossroads where big business and the strength of small-town community converge.

    Watch the Promised Land Trailer

    Disclaimer: Post inspiration provided through Linqia. All thoughts are my own.

    18 Comments so far. Please add yours!

    • Erica Ardali says:

      What an inspiring post! It was a great way to start the weekend, thanks for sharing!

    • This is perfect timing! I just did some volunteering today with the kids and have been looking to find more ways to give back.

    • denise says:

      I love to volunteer…I saw the trailer for the movie and it looks great!

    • natalie andrews says:

      very inspiring

    • Ari says:

      I do my small part by volunteering, but I would love to make a bigger impact. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Celina K says:

      Every single person can make a difference, can make this country (or world, or state, or even city) a better place to live in, buy doing even the smallest thing. Most people I think just don’t believe they can make a difference, so it doesn’t matter. But that’s not true. Or that they don’t have time. It only takes a few minutes to clean garbage up at a children’s playground, or drop off some clothes to some people that need them. Small things like that really do make a difference.

      I haven’t seen the movie, but it looks good! :)

    • Becky Bryant says:

      Thanks so much for the insight. I have been thinking about doing something like this for a while and you helped give me that push.

    • I wish more people knew what you know about giving. It is so important and satisfying as helping even one person or place in need.

    • md kennedy says:

      Inspiring post! Right now I only have the time to “micro-volunteer” – signing/spreading the word about electronic petitions, clicking on donation sites. Some day woudl love to be able to do something more participative but I travel so much it is hard ot make the commitment.

    • Lisa R says:

      I try and give something of myself every day. Today I bought a stranger a hot chocolate

      sbabe64 at ptd dot net

    • Lynnette Watkins says:

      I volunteer at my church’s pantry. It started with me just dropping off clothes my kids had outgrown and one of my friends told me to stay. The pantry organizer asked to comeback each month to help her put out the clothes, because the other ladies did not like handling used clothing. So it has been about 5 years I have been volunteering at my church and I enjoy it.

    • Meg Tucker says:

      Thanks for sharing your story! I love hearing about these things! I get so much from volunteering and the smiles on families faces I see each Sat. are irriplaceable. I leave a better person :)

    • Kathleen says:

      I sure would like to see the movie. I love Matt Damon. I think volunteering is very important to your community and if you have the time and resources to do so, you should help others. It is one way to pay it forward.

    • Becky I. says:

      What wonderful ideas, what a wonderful job you did–just wonderful!! Thanks for the inspiration.

      This movie looks great, I want to see it!

    • Maria Iemma says:

      This post was very inspirational. Matt Damon is one of my favorites, he seems so down to earth. We should all help our communities, even a small change can make a big difference.

    • Kristina L. says:

      I have never thought of something like that! I am sure those women were so grateful to you. Sometimes it just takes one persons touch of kindness or thoughtfulness to change another’s outlook on things! :)

    • Sandy Cain says:

      Very, very excellent ideas here. I was in a situation a few years where I was GREATLY helped by good-hearted volunteers. Time for ME to give back, I think. Thanks for the reminder!

    • lissa crane says:

      Love these ideas! Even the smallest of gestures can make a huge difference! Great post!

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    Mustard Seeds

    God’s Equations and Formulas: Basics 101

    Have you ever heard of the scripture that says “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”? (James 4: 6) If you think about it, there’s a lot that can be gleaned from these words

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