Making local connections for meaningful community service and engagement. Inspiration for the Get Involved website for students Getinvolvedpa.com.
(San Francisco Bay Area, AKA: Silicon Valley)
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sometimes we walk past, when our conscience says to stop and lend a hand. I'm glad the rocker dude and his platinum babe decided to offer a minute of their time today. It was another very simple act, but it made a difference for me and my family. I never have enough casual photos, so I asked my step-dad Chuck to snap one of all the girls--me, my daughters, and my mom--in front of St. Mary's Cathedral before we went inside for our friends' organ and piano concert. Chuck is the self-designated historian, and we like his work so why change the photographer? But the spiky-haired gentleman in printed t-shirt, blazer and jeans insisted that we all needed to be in this photo.
It was a fabulous backdrop, so after some prodding we finally gave in. His girlfriend smiled as if to acknowledge this was just normal behavior for her darling man. Sure, it may be typical for your average Joe, but this guy did look extraordinarily cool. Now Chuck will also be in our visual record of a family outing on a beautiful afternoon in the city. And to tell you the truth, I think all of our smiles are more gleaming because of the gorgeous young guy behind the lens!
The Power of Half: One Family's Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back, by Kevin Salwen and Hannah Salwen. 2010, Houghton Mifflen Harcourt.
"Do Something: A Handbook for Young Activists," by Nancy Lublin. 2010, Workman Publishing.
"How to Make a Difference: Over 1,000 ways to serve at home, in your community, and in the world," by Catherine E. Poelman. 2002, Shadow Mountain.
160 Ways to Help the World: Community Service Projects for Young People," by Linda Leeb Duper. 1996.
"Chicken Soup for the Volunteer's Soul," by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. 2002, Health Communications, Inc.
"Giving is Living: 101 Ways to Practice Effortless Generosity," by Marnie & Tisha Howard. 2009, Hatherleigh.
"Make a Difference: America's Guide to Volunteering and Community Service," by Arthur I. Blaustein. 2003, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
"Take Action! A Guide to Active Citizenship," by Marc Kielburger, Craig Kielburger. 2002, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
"The Idealist.org Handbook to Building a Better World," Idealist.org with Stephanie Land. 2009, Action Without Borders.
"Volunteering: The Ultimate Teen Guide," by Kathleen Gay. 2004, Scarecrow Press.
Words that Work
Mercy, n. 1. kindness in excess of what may be expected or demanded by fairness; forbearance and compassion 2.) the power to forgive or be kind. Syn.tolerance, favor, compassion.
"All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough." ~Anna Quindlen, A Short Guide to a Happy Life.
"I know not what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." ~Albert Schweitzer, quoted in The 8th Habit by Steven Covey.
Slog, vi. 1. to make one's way with great effort; plod 2. to work hard at something; toil. ~New World Dictionary
Make a Difference...
Use the Good Works Blog as a resource to inspire everyday acts of good will, or to explore volunteering and community service in your world.
1.) In the World: Write letters to anyone(!) serving in the military, organize or participate in a blood drive, write letters and emails to elected officials to vote for specific environmental initiatives.
2.) In the Community: Gather new socks and underwear for a nearby homeless shelter or resource center, gather non-perishable food (especially during summer months) for a food bank, offer to sing and/or play an instrument at a convalescent home.
3.) In the Neighborhood: Offer to rake your neighbor's leaves, collect trash at nearby park, bake a special cake for a friend when it's not their birthday!