When my daughter started kindergarten I was approached by a PTA mom to see if I would be interested in joining the school’s Environmental Committee. As a green and crunchy hippy momma, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to get involved with this project. Of course, little did I realize what a HUGE commitment I was taking on! The Environmental Committee was actually just that ONE mom and she was leaving to move on to the middle school! So, for 4 years I pushed ahead and worked to get my children’s school to reduce their carbon footprint. It was a cause I was passionate about and seeing the children’s enthusiasm for every recycling drive I initiated was a huge reward. Speaking to classrooms on Earth Day, handing out seed packets to the kids, collecting sneakers for Soles for Souls and tons of other campaigns helped educate those kids on the importance of going green. Have you ever wanted to bring about change in YOUR community? One person really can make a difference if they have the right support and tools for success!
If you want to be a changemaker in your community, make sure you educate yourself and arm yourself with tools for success. Community Action feels like an adventure and is something we carry with us everyday. That said, use the Community Action Pack that outlines the best of the resources on the web that exist to drive community engagement and action no matter what issue someone is facing. Below are the digital platforms that are highlighted:
• POPVOX: Find out what issues are being addressed in Congress through an easy-to-use website
• All For Good: Volunteer matching service no matter where you live or how much time you have to offer
• MindMixer: A platform that makes it easier to share ideas with city leaders
• Story of Stuff’s Changemaker Quiz: Find out what type of changemaker you are
• SeeClickFix and CitySourced: Allow you to easily connect and report civic issues directly to your local officials using the camera and GPS in your smartphone
• Sunlight Foundation’s Call On Congress: An 800 number that allows you to track bills in Congress
• Ashoka Changemakers: Get the tools and resources for your idea that can better the world
• Care2: empowering citizens through creating and signing petitions
• NationBuilder and WordPress: The tools to create a website and outreach platform for an issue that’s important for you
• MeetUp: Find or start a meetup group to discuss the issues your community faces and the solutions and changemaking that is possible
• Neighborgoods: Connects people to save money and resources by sharing goods in the hopes of building stronger communities
• Twitter and Facebook: Strategies to leverage social media platforms to make change in your community Check out the Facebook Connect Experience for more information how YOU can bring about change in your community.
Promised Land is the new contemporary drama directed by Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk). Matt Damon plays Steve Butler, an ace corporate salesman who is sent along with his partner, Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand), to close a key rural town in his company’s expansion plans. With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Hal Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (John Krasinski), as well as the interest of a local woman (Rosemarie DeWitt). Promised Land explores America at the crossroads where big business and the strength of small-town community converge. Check out the Promised Land Trailer to learn more about this inspiring movie!
I encourage everyone to pick a cause and learn what you can do to enact change in your own community. If the environment isn’t your ‘thing’ how about childhood hunger or domestic violence? There are so many issues facing our society today that need support. The Community Action Pack Toolkit features the best digital tools you can use online to spark action in your community.
Disclaimer: This article is sponsored. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.