How to activate your community spirit

by rodney on October 22, 2013

NSW bushfire help supportIt’s that time of year again and again; the country looks on as bush-fires devastate the country side. Every night the news shows scenes of great loss. People losing homes, losing family members, losing hope.

But with every scene of loss and devastation, there are plenty of stories of communities rallying together to help and support those in need. Not just the small communities that have affected, but all communities across the country, rally round, dig deep and donate millions to help people rebuild.

This demonstrates more than just what we like to call the Australian spirit; it demonstrates what I like to call the spirit of humanity. As people, it is our true nature to help our communities, our family, and our tribe, especially when faced with danger.

So how can we embody this community spirit, especially when most people have their own shit to worry about? Here are three things you can do to help communities during times of need.

Identify what you can and can’t do

At times of need, we all feel the need to do something, but we need to admit that we have limitations. An example is during these bush-fires, we want to help, but we all can’t climb a truck and battle the fires head on. Being realistic with what you can do and what you can’t is a great way to start. Think about the time you have, the resources you have what you can physically do and think of big and small things you can do. Sometimes we feel like if we can’t do something big then we’re not helping but that’s not the case. Anything you can do big or small not only makes a difference but prevents you from feeling helpless.

Join a group

Now that you know what you can and can’t do, one of the easiest ways to help out and give back to a community is to join a group, organisation or movement that someone else has started. There are plenty of charities out there looking for volunteers such as rural fire-fighters, SES, Lifeline, and Salvation Army etc. all wanting volunteers. If you don’t have the time or capacity to join a large organisation you find smaller groups who are doing something and help them, it may be your local church, or even some family or friends who have committed to making a difference.

Start something yourself

If you can’t find a group or movement to support, you can always start something yourself. This can range from starting an entire charity to posting a link on your social media about where to donate and encouraging your friends to share it. A great example of starting your own movement is a lady here in Australia who gathered up her kids old clothes to send to orphans of the Boxing Day Tsunami in Thailand. She then asked her friends if they had old kid’s clothes they wanted to get rid of and donate, then, most of those friends asked their friends and so on.

When it comes to community spirit and giving help, it’s not about the size of the contribution, but the contribution itself that matters. Identify what you can do, and join forces with others who also want to do it.

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