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.
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.
Change Starts Now
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.
Are you ready to get started? Leave a comment sharing what change you’d like to champion!
About Promised Land
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.