I’m regularly convicted that slack-tivism is not activism. Clicking “like” or hashtagging about a movement is not actually doing anything except maybe helping to spread the word. Sometimes I’m fooled into thinking that because I link to an article or say something about a cause I care about, or blog a list of ideas, I’m doing something. I’m not.
But for what it’s worth, here are 10 things we can actually do (and I’m only adding them to the list if they are things I do or plan to do).
1. Buy your Christmas presents from small, local businesses. (It’s a great way to support the #Occupy movement, should you choose, and your local economy.)
2. Support your local emergency response team(s). In Henderson, the CERT team is a having a casualty drill on November 19 at the fairgrounds. I love casualty drills, so I’m planning to attend and take some of our students. There are other ways to support.
3. Donate food to a local food pantry. Peanut butter prices are set to spike about 30% in November. Buy several jars of a store brand and give them this month.
4. Plan now to “adopt” an Angel off an Angel Tree, or a child through a local volunteer agency or school resource center, a Veteran or a family for Christmas. There are a lot of families who will not be able to afford basic needs at Christmas time this year, much less gifts for their children. As a parent, I can’t imagine what it would be like if we hadn’t been able to afford presents for Jonas when he was small and wrote his letters to Santa and counted down the days.
5. Are you buying a real Christmas tree? Buy it from a Boy Scout Troop! In Henderson, Troop 280 (Jonas’ troop) will sell them after Thanksgiving.
6. Give blood. Really, it’s not that bad.
7. 25% of children in America live in “Food Insecure” homes. They don’t know where their next meals are coming from. In Henderson, we have a program that sends backpacks of food home with school kids on Fridays. Our church fills 5 each week. Lots of communities have these programs.
8. Mentor. Give an hour a week to visit with a child at a local school. They’ll benefit from your attention and friendship–and you’ll benefit from theirs! In Henderson, call Big Brothers, Big Sisters!
9. Volunteer. Lead a Scout Troop, coach a team, call Bingo at a nursing home, give hours to a non-profit, get involved in a service project at your church, help the Red Cross, be a crisis counselor, fill bags at a food pantry, volunteer to do custodial work or gardening for a non-profit…find something you care about and give your time.
10. In Henderson, learn about the Brain Injury Adventure Camp and find ways to get involved in this life-changing project and ministry. Currently, they need people to play zombies for their upcoming “Terror on the Trail.”
What did I miss? What are your suggestions?