How big of an impact would local organizations who lend a helping hand in domestic and labor community service have? (by Amanda Stallings)

My choice of question would be along the lines of “How big of an impact would local organizations who lend a helping hand in domestic and labor community service have?” And “Would community service such as this, be capable of growing as large as The Oregon Food Bank?”

Some individuals tend to judge certain communities for many different reason such as lack of or no landscaping maintenance, Trash, cigarettes, abandoned cars and furniture etc. These situations would cause some people to choose to possibly stay away from communities like this, whether it be moving in or visiting friends etc.

We would assume these housing communities may have people who simply don’t care about their living environments, they may be on drugs, dirty people or just plain lazy. This is not always the case, and that is what I would like to write about. There are a lot more that comes in to play when you see living establishments that are not pleasing to the eye.

I have personally been in this situation when looking for a home for my son and i. Luckily we ended up moving in to the community, it was nothing to the extent as I thought it would be. After living in our new home for a few months, the dirtiness and lack of landscaping started to bother me. Luckily I ended up doing my community service by meeting my fellow residents and explain to them my project (so they didn’t feel uncomfortable or judged).

I had asked them if there was anything they would like me to do around the house to help out, regarding the outdoors. I came to the realization that about 90% of the community were disabled, worked heavy hours and didn’t have time, or elderly so they couldn’t do anything on their own and were more than excited to receive the help.

So I had started volunteering by helping with a various amount of tasks including cleaning gutters, windows, raking leaves, washing off sidewalks, planting flows, and much more. I have been having such a great time doing these tasks because not only can I help others on my free time, its local to my community and my son can be home while I do so, the convenience is amazing.

I have grown such a connection with my fellow residents doing this, that I had started to think about reaching out to nearby neighborhoods who also struggle with the lack of cleanliness and see if anyone would like to start up a little community service group, then possibly branch out and continue to grow. This would be such a great way to start cleaning up the streets and make then looks less drug, ghetto, trashy, or however some may receive, because that is not always the case.

Why the poor areas of town so dirty?

In some cases, I believe that being wealthy, people are more involved within their community compared to when they are barely scraping by, worrying about survival while living paycheck to paycheck. Being able to afford more than your immediate needs can make a huge difference therefore, your homes appearance and the overall care being done to it and the community living environment is better managed. When you work hard for your money, and then buy nice things, you want to take care of those nice things as well as have everything around those nice taken care of things to be nice.

Lower income housing also is mainly filled with younger people who are just getting their lives together, possibly still in college, and most likely living with multiple roommates in which means more partying leading to a trashy living atmosphere.

We also have people and or families who get assistance from the government to assist in survival. This may be because they don’t make enough money to support their family and or have a disability making them unable to work in the first place. In these cases, there are many obstacles that can cause distraction or lack of ability to assist in maintenance within the community.

Starting a volunteer program

Although there are gangs, people who simply don’t care and also those partying collage kids, it shouldn’t ruin the living environments to those who simply aren’t capable. I believe if every low income and or not so appeasing to the eye type of community had a group of individuals that would come together monthly to assist as I did, in cleaning, yard work and home maintenance to those who are not capable, it would make a worlds of a difference.

In order to start something like this going, you would first need to do a needs assessment, asking yourself: 1. What is your organizational vision and mission? 2. What are you trying to accomplish in your community? What is the program’s purpose? 3. How do volunteers fit into the program’s mission, strategies and goals? 4. How could volunteers best meet the program’s needs to serve more people and make a greater difference in the community? 5. How can volunteers help meet program goals?

This would be followed by documenting and configuring a volunteer advisory committee, mission and vision, and volunteer program tracking systems to ensure an effective database.

 

Starting a volunteer program: http://www.handsonnetwork.org/files/resources/BP_StartingVolunteerProgram_2010_HON.pdf

 

Personal opinion blog on why poor communities are so dirty: http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=84345

 

This is a great source of information providing information and resources regarding low income and affordable housing: http://www.co.washington.or.us/Housing/

 

 

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