“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” -Albert Schweitzer
Volunteerism and philanthropy create a better world for us all. There are countless people in need, who depend on the selfless acts of others in order to survive. Taking on a volunteer project of your own is the perfect way to do your part. Here are three service projects to tackle this summer.
We often see and hear about homelessness in our communities and on the news, but rarely do we stop to consider how many children are included in homeless populations across America. According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, 2.5 million children are declared as homeless annually. That means 1 in 30 children each year are suffering from a lack of reliable shelter, nutrition and safety. Although these statistics are shocking and grim, there are ways to help.
Helpful service projects:
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter/food bank: Many shelters and soup kitchens work hard to serve not only homeless adults, but children as well. Your volunteer hours will ensure that fewer hungry children go without.
- Help Parents: Parents of homeless children sometimes need nothing more than a little help to get back on their feet. Devoting time to assisting them with resume writing, educational courses and access to additional resources can make all the difference in the lives of their children.
- Advocate/Raise Awareness: Few people know how staggering the statistics are. Advocating for homeless children and raising awareness about the issue can lead to more hands on deck working toward a solution.
If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, why not give gardening at try? More than 40 million Americans suffer from hunger. In lower socioeconomic areas, the statistics are especially disheartening. Many communities have little to no access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables within reasonable distance, effectively creating a food desert. To help combat this dilemma, good samaritans all over the nation have taken it upon themselves to establish community gardens. The gardens are usually maintained by volunteers and community members. They serve as a resource for underprivileged families to have access to organic produce without the steep price tag or long commute.
If you are interested in starting or helping with a community garden in your city, click here for more information on how to get started.
Traditionally, service projects require face-to-face interactions with others. But those parameters don’t need to exist when it comes to donating. With the growth of technology, crowdfunding has become global. In the past, there weren’t as many fast, safe and easy ways to distribute financial gifts to long-distance causes. But today, it’s simple. Consequently, service projects have grown to include donation work. There are two ways to bring this feat to reality.
First, you can create a campaign of your own, providing the framework to collect donations. Don’t worry, accomplishing this isn’t as difficult as it may sound. Once you’ve selected a cause worth funding, you can use both boots-on-the-ground and the internet to spread the word.
Second, you can save a designated amount of money. Once you reach your goal, use what you’ve saved to donate to several other service projects. Doing so will help sustain other volunteers like yourself, allowing them to continue the valuable work they are pouring into their communities.
“If you have an opportunity to help others or incite change, it feels like a moral obligation to do so.” -Elizabeth Chambers
If we all make it our mission to positively impact of neighborhoods and communities, the whole world would change for the better. Be the inspiration that sparks others to act. Pick one of these three service projects to start your journey of spreading hope.