They say that into each life a little rain must fall.
Unfortunately, looking at the headlines today literal AND metaphorical rain can get to some pretty catastrophic proportions. But as always, there’s hope! And it starts wtih each one of us being informed and involved before tragedy strikes. If you’re not as active within your community as you could be, now’s a perfect time to start building your area up so everyone’s ready to weather the storms together. Start by:
Getting out more
When’s the last time you went for an evening stroll in your neighborhood? How about the last time you gardened, or had punch on the porch? It may seem small, but you’ve got the power to put a friendly face on your community just by bringing yourself out into it more. Do your best to stick close to things in your area every so often, greet your neighbors, and get those steps in. These microinteractions are a great way of building everyone up, one smile or garden compliment at a time. More of an introverted type? No problem! Something as simple as a quick ‘Good morning’ on your way in and out can boost a neighbor’s mood, and yours too!
Just because we’ve passed Halloween doesn’t mean the vampires aren’t still out. These ones are medically trained though, and they’ve been letting us know for quite some time—the need for blood never dies down. Unfortunately stock DOES expire, and the ‘bumper crops’ that most banks receive after a tragedy hits the news cycle don’t go nearly as far as you’d think! Set your calendar for every eight weeks if you’re eligible to donate, and get as big a group together as you can to go! The complimentary snacks and sense of pride will be well worth the sensation.
It’s never a bad time to learn new things, in fact, you’re doing it right now! But it’s even better to get out and about in your community and continue your education. Youth centers, libraries, and even local colleges often give seminars on grief management, de-escalation tactics, and offer volunteering opportunities where you can learn as you help out. And hey, the more you know, the better right? So get on out there and do your homework! Speaking of which, that brings us to…
Listening to the experts
As much as a memorial of stuffed animals or donations of gently used clothes might evoke a powerful image, did you know that a good deal of those good deeds have to end up being dumped? No, really! It’s great to live in an environment of truly caring individuals coming together, but unfortunately our layperson instincts aren’t always the right ones—especially everyone having the same thoughts leads to a surplus of just ONE thing. Check out what people in the relief field have to say about what your community really needs when things go wrong. That way, you’ll know what best to buy or have on hand. Bonus, it’s a great conversational topic when that punch on the porch we mentioned turns into a good get-together.