LOS ANGELES — Ending global poverty is often perceived as a daunting task. There are a number of people who express an interest in helping, but think they are too small or insignificant to make an impact. This mindset prevents them from acting. However, I am a firm believer that global poverty can end if we all take individual actions to fix the problem. Here are seven easy community service ideas to end global poverty:
1. Fundraise money for global poverty aid organizations.
Create an online donation fund, and encourage loved ones to donate to the cause! Fundraising can be fun and incredibly rewarding, especially when you get your friends and family involved. Host a bake sale, run a marathon and get pledge donations, ask local restaurants to display a tip jar, etc. Then donate those funds to an aid organization of your choosing.
2. Submit a guest article to your local newspaper.
This is a great way to express your passion to end poverty. Many newspapers accept Op-Ed pieces of about 600 words or less, which are typically published in the Opinions section. You can even request the article to be published in accordance with a specific date or other news story to draw attention to a certain bill or event.
3. Call your Congressional offices (and encourage others to do the same).
Every time you call your representatives, your request is marked down in a weekly summary of calls. The more people who call in support of a specific bill or issue, the more attention the bill will receive. The people get what the people want – help your congressional representatives understand that you want global poverty to end now!
4. Volunteer your time.
Poverty takes many forms, so there are many ways to get involved. According to The Jewish Federation, “You can volunteer with kids, families, the elderly, the disabled, the homeless, women and the mentally ill; in shelters, soup kitchens, community centers, after school programs, and employment centers. You can teach literacy, resume development, job training courses, ESL, computer class, coach sports, serve food, and provide counseling.”
5. Make posters and hang them everywhere.
A large part of ending poverty involves educating the public about the situation. People will care about an issue that they understand. Make fliers and posters and hang them all around your local community. Grocery stores, restaurants, schools, businesses, police stations, doctor’s offices, gas stations, and coffee shops are all great places to get the word out! Just make sure to ask the manager or business owner for permission before posting any information.
6. Donate! Donate! Donate!
Have clothes that don’t fit you anymore? Have extra toothbrushes and toiletries? Canned food items? Shoes? Blankets? Books? All of these items and more can be donated. World Vision also has some great programs to facilitate the donation process, such as the child sponsorship, micro loan, planned giving and corporate giving programs.
7. Organize an event.
There is so much untapped potential here. You could organize a benefit concert, a rally, a 5k run, a food festival with local contributors, a carnival, etc. These large-scale events, although they require significant planning and organization, will draw large crowds. If you’re lucky, the event might even be covered by local or national news stations.
There are countless ways to contribute to ending global poverty and no contribution is too small.
– Hanna Darroll