Friday, January 27, 2017

Small, Good Actions for Change

I am seeing lots of Facebook posts about people who are determined to take one action, big or small, for change or resistance to the current administration.  Many of these actions involve calling or e-mailing legislators.

I don't dispute that communicating with legislators is important, and I anticipate months of issues emerging which will necessitate expressing our dismay to those whom we have elected to govern. 

I am lucky in that I have a Representative who is likely to vote the way that I want her to vote.  I always feel kind of silly when I call and ask her to vote for a bill that I know she'll support already.

I also know that this kind of action can leave some of us feeling hopeless.  We may have legislators who will do whatever they want, regardless of their constituents.  We may feel that we call and call and call, and nothing happens.

Maybe we need something more immediate.  I thought of this when my college roommate saved the Campbell's soup labels on cans that I was going to recycle.  She told me that I could take them to my public library, and they could get free books that way.  I had never thought of that.

I don't use canned soup often, but I do occasionally use them when I need chicken or beef stock.  What a great idea to save the labels.

We could do the same with box tops, which come on many products and local schools can trade for stuff.  I mail mine to my sister, who collects them for my nephew's elementary school.  But at the time that she no longer collects them, I could still donate them to a local school.

What are some other actions that we can do that will take a small amount of time but bring some good into the world?  Let me list some:

--When we go grocery shopping, we could pick up some items for the food pantry.  Don't know where your local food pantry is?  Call a local church or two or three--you'll find someone who can tell you.

--When we go to a big box store, like Target or Wal-Mart, we could buy a package of socks for the local homeless shelter.

--Don't forget about the power of money.  We can write a check to national or local groups that are working for the changes we want to see in the world.  Even small checks are better than no checks.

--Does your employer match your charitable giving?

--Bring some treats to the local office of your favorite non-profit or charity.  Raise the spirits of the people who are usually working long hours for low pay.

--Read to children.  At first this action might not seem simple as many groups now require a background check.  But once you're done with that, you might find joy in sharing stories with children.

--Buy children's books and give them to elementary schools and libraries.  Support programs that support summer reading.

--Don't forget about the importance of self-care and care of your compatriots.  You cannot keep giving and giving and not replenish yourself.

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