Hello SOTGC community,
A few months ago I participated in a class and was presented with the question, “Do you have an obligation to support your community?” This question opened up dialogue that resulted in hearing opinions for and against supporting the needs within our respective communities. At the end of the discussion, the position of the class was overwhelmingly positive for supporting the needs within our community. The group also felt strongly that we have a moral obligation to do so.
My personal position on this topic was no different; I do feel we have a duty to give back to our community and to help ensure our younger generations learn from us and take action on their own. In a previous post, I talked about the steps our community was taking to encourage and empower others to give back through our #My42 movement. The health and longevity of any community is dependent upon those that live within its boundaries and the actions we take to support its needs.
The risk we face today in helping support the unique needs within any community is a familiar thought: “I would help if [insert excuse here].” There is also the belief that there are a lot of people that volunteer their time, so no need to get involved. The reality of this goes back to the 80/20 rule; 20% of the people doing 80% of the work or volunteering. There is also the desire to give back to communities in foreign lands, which is much needed, but takes away from the immediate need within our own communities.
Take a moment to think about the needs right in your community. Are you aware of what those needs are? Let me share a few needs that every community struggles to sustain and support everyday:
- Food Pantry
- Homeless/Couch Surfing Students
- Hat/Coat/Glove Drives
- Shoe Drives
- Free/Reduced Lunch Food Programs for Students
- Substance Abuse Support
- Family Abuse Shelters
That is just a start and represents most every community within America. Once you start to evaluate the unique needs within your own community, you will find the list can grow rather rapidly. The sad reality is that we have only one in four people giving back throughout our nation. When you break that down further, the one in four people is further diluted by those that give their time exclusively to foreign countries. This presents an immediate and real concern for our communities. If we do not address the issues within our own backyards, we put the freedoms and liberties we are so accustomed to at risk. The youth within our community that live in poverty, go to bed hungry, or live in the backseat of a car in the Wal-Mart parking lot are more likely to turn to a life of crime than to graduate and go on to college.
We should be taking time to consider what we can do to support the needs within our own community, in addition to the time we give elsewhere. It is not only our responsibility to give back within our community, it truly is our moral obligation. It is an opportunity to learn more about those you share property lines with; that you stand behind at the local grocery store line; share voting decisions with. The benefits become limitless, and, more importantly, will help reduce crime rates by helping those in need feel more connected and cared for.
Recently, I have thought a lot about what our community is doing to ensure we are helping those in need. Our focus should be to help those that cannot help themselves … all people … to not discriminate, but to keep an open heart and mind on where the biggest needs are and the biggest impact is felt. I have said it before, every person has a gift, whether it is time, talent, or treasure, it is a gift.
Your turn is here, reach out to a local civic group, school administrator, or faith-based organization and find out what the needs are within your community. It is time for you to give your gifts to help others; ensure it is making the biggest impact and touching as many needs as possible. Do not wait for the moment to find you, you find the moment and take action. Your gift is needed … today!
If this post resonated with you, or you know of others that need to be reminded how important their gifts are, please share! Please share this article with others …Tweet, Pin or share on LinkedIn or Facebook.