If I were to ask you to donate a single book or a pair of clothing, for a family or facility in need, would you? Could you sacrifice old belongings that you don’t use or wear, maybe something you were going to simply throw away anyhow? Even more, could you dedicate that time? Even if it were for a second.
I came up with a plan (well more so my daughter was my inspiration) to create my own little book donation of some sort, after all I love being a little creative! My biggest goal was to find as many books as I could to start my process. I received a few from family and friends, and also expanded my project onto Facebook “craigslist.” This is where I encountered my first issue, and one that bothered me a little, okay maybe a lot. It amazed me how little people wanted to contribute, after all, the groups I belonged to were places where you could sell, buy or trade, and every person on there was looking for things low priced. So I guess you could say that it amazed me individuals that wanted things pretty much free, weren’t willing to donate or even offer books for me to buy for someone else. Did you know I had one lady tell me flat out no? There were others who said, “Go to Goodwill.” Now I understand some were giving suggestions, but others were also rude about it.
I thought reaching out, especially on social media, that I would have a much bigger outcome. I mean I was trying to find books for children, and I figured the world solely relies on technology that it was the perfect opportunity to broadcast my project and really get people on board in one way or another. My biggest issue wasn’t due to the rudeness I stumbled upon, but the fact that people aren’t willing to be involved in their community locally. So, how do we get more people involved in the local community?
How to Get Informed
Perks, Thomas A., and Daniel Konecny. “The Enduring Influence of Parent’s Voluntary Involvement On Their Children’s Volunteering In Later Life.” Canadian Review Of Sociology 52.1 (2015): 89-101. Academic Premier. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.
In this article Thomas A. Perks and Daniel Konecny break down probably a very important point when it comes to volunteering. They did an experiment and learned said that “volunteer is an expression of solidarity that comes from the adherence to a set of norms learned primarily through the family” (4). Parents who were active in their community and got involved, it was more likely that their children did too. Children were more likely to help out or get involved in their own terms seeing that their parent was doing the exact same thing.
Perry, Suzanne. “Despite Attempts To Boost Volunteerism, Rate Hits A New Low. (Cover Story).” Chronicles Of Philanthropy 26.10 (2014): 1. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Suzanne Perry pointed out some great points. Things that most people might not even understand. The volunteerism rate dropped 25.4% in 2013; 63 million Americans volunteered in 2013, 2 million fewer than in 2012. She goes on to explain that they don’t know the cause of the drop and why people aren’t helping out as much. It could be that organizations and local nonprofits aren’t able to dish out the money that they need to really get people to help (not paying them, but the cost it takes to find people). Organizations all run into people who can’t volunteer during work hours, and some nonprofits limit to the number of volunteers they take for example: The Boston Rape Center.
How to Get Involved
When it comes to volunteering, most people think how do I help? Well that answer is simple. There are almost infinite possibilities. Volunteering or donating does not mean that you need to donate money because there are tons of ways to donate. Donate means to give in order to help others; meaning clothing, blood, money, and even time. Time is the biggest way you can donate, and it doesn’t cost you a dime. Google can be your best friend. You can find worldwide organizations and even local organizations online. There are websites such as http://www.volunteermatch.org/ that you can put in your location and what kind of volunteer work you are looking to do, and it will bring up a list of local things in your city. Local libraries, hospitals (blood drive) are looking for people to donate, or even high schools hold fundraisers. I used to volunteer as an assistant coach with the Special Olympics at a local elementary school. So there are always opportunities! The choice is up to you to want to go out there and help make a change, not matter how big or small.