There is so much uncertainty in our world, in our country, and in our communities. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and powerless when I read the news about terrorism around the world, immigrants (legal and illegal) being separated from their children in our country, and the deterioration of the Oroville Dam spillway here in the Northstate.
Just this week, less than 30 minutes away, people I know have been forced to evacuate their homes. 200,000 people in Butte County have been displaced and are unsure of their futures.
All of these events make me feel impotent and helpless. But there is something I can do. There is something all of us can do to have a positive impact on the community around us.
My wife, Ange Bledsoe, has experience with volunteering that she has agreed to share with us.
Volunteering is a great way to connect with your community, provide assistance to people in need, and have new and exciting experiences. Bonus: you get to feel awesome about your good deeds!! Double bonus: making new friends who are like-minded!
Everyone can volunteer, regardless of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or other characteristic. Here are a few ways that you (yes YOU!) can get involved.
1. Find out what interests you and if your community offers those services, get involved. For example, maybe you love horses. A simple google search reveals a Butte County non-profit called Handi Riders (http://www.handi-riders.org/) which provides therapeutic services to children and adults with special needs. If you love horses, I just did part of the work for you!
2. Contact local non-profits and ask how you can help. You can do this online, in person, or over the phone. Often times, non-profits don't have a ton of employees so this is a great way to volunteer and gain valuable skills like organizing, answering phones, and basic computer skills.
3. Donate your time once you get connected. Be flexible and willing to help wherever you are needed. You will be appreciated!
4. If you don't have time due to other commitments like school and family, supporting your favorite organization is possible simply by sharing important information with your friends. If you know of events that are happening in the future, use your social media page to promote them.
Do you volunteer? Where? What suggestions do you have for others? Share in the comments section below.