I am frustrated, and I will tell you why.
My Facebook and Twitter feeds constantly blow up about this issue or that issue. Tons of people visualize themselves as keyboard warriors who hope to change the world with memes.
I’m getting tired of the online whining.
We all live in such a privileged society here in the US that we take our blessings for granted on a daily basis.
Now, I am not against protesting at all. This country affords us the freedom for peaceful protest. Blood was shed for this. So I say protest away.
However, protesting will not effect the kind of change that many perceive as necessary for this nation to move forward.
While social media enables us to communicate our message, it is also very saturated with others’ messages. Guess what form of activism is not?
There are thousands of opportunities for each one of us to really make a difference in our country and our world.
I am annoyed by many things and see many injustices, but I also remember that there are tons of blessings. Being born in a communist country and having won what I consider to be the “life” lottery by coming to the United States help me to see things from this viewpoint.
How can I help?
While being a social justice warrior online may have some impact, it’s nowhere near what you can accomplish by actively helping out with causes you are passionate about.
Here are some examples of things you can do today to contribute to society in a meaningful way.
- Volunteer to help at a homeless shelter.
- Possible Impact: Helping someone who may be at their lowest with a warm meal and compassion.
- Collect donations for Mexico, Puerto Rico, Houston or Florida.
- Possible Impact: Helping to feed someone who may have lost everything and reminding them they are not alone.
- Volunteer to coach a sport for kids.
- Possible Impact: Being a mentor for kids who may need a positive role model and a physical outlet.
- Volunteer to help out in school.
- Possible Impact: Give overworked teachers some much needed assistance.
- Volunteer for a political campaign.
- Possible Impact: Help support and elect someone you feel espouses your beliefs.
- Smile at everyone you come into contact with.
- Possible Impact: Show kindness to someone who may be suffering through unimaginable struggles.
- Pick up trash or do some landscaping or repairs for your neighbors who are older and have a hard time with the physicality.
- Possible Impact: Care for our elderly because it’s our job as a society.
- Make cookies for your team, your friends, your neighbors, anyone just because.
- Possible Impact: A random act of kindness is uplifting and will usually change the dynamic of your relationships with those in your community in a positive way. A lot of the time it will result in others paying it forward.
- Volunteer to do some light paperwork for any nonprofit that needs the help.
- Possible Impact: Be the reason paperwork and red tape didn’t keep someone from being fed or given shelter.
- Volunteer at the VA or other programs for Veterans.
- Possible Impact: Show a veteran that they are treasured and honored.
- Buy some extra groceries for a friend or someone you know who may be having a rough time due to a loss of a job or an illness or a death.
- Possible Impact: Help a mom feed her kids when she is overwhelmed with tragedy.
- Volunteer to mentor at risk kids.
- Possible Impact: Be the reason a kid may grow up to also become a positive contribution to society.
I added the possible impacts for a reason.
Here it goes.
Ask yourself if a meme would have had any of those possible impacts as soon as you posted it?
Resources for volunteers
Need more ideas or inspiration?
Here are some places where you can search for opportunities to help and sign up for something that matches your passions and skill levels.
VolunteerMatch.org currently has over 104, 000 opportunities to volunteer with more than 116,000 organizations that can use your help.
Use their search feature to connect with a cause that needs you.
JustServe.org is a website run by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where the volunteer needs of organizations may be posted and volunteers may search for places to serve in the community.
According to their website, “Neither The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nor its website JustServe.org discriminates based on race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation to screen projects for posting or volunteers who may sign up to serve.”
Share your ideas
Do you have causes you are passionate about that can use volunteers?
I would love to hear about your ideas for ways we can actively make this world a better place.