As young, bright-eyed college students, many people set out with visions of changing the world. They want to make a difference, fix problems, and generally improve upon their communities. Then adulthood sets in. Children. Mortgages. Careers. None of these things leaves much time for changing the world.
These eight actions are ones you can plan and do, some as you sit in front of your computer, without a significant time investment. Yet they can mean a world of difference in someone’s life.
1. Write a letter to the editor. When you read about the cuts in funding for childcare subsidies, the lowered sentencing for domestic violence offenders, or the praiseworthy story of the feminist activist, let your community know your feelings by writing a letter.
2. Donate to the food pantry. Make it a point to purchase an extra $5-10 worth of food each month when you’re out shopping. Then drop it off when you have an errand in the vicinity of the pantry.
3. Teach a seminar. Many women’s shelters and other social service agencies are looking for people to teach seminars on important topics, including parenting and nutrition. If you have expertise, offer it to these groups. You can teach a one-night class and help people make changes to their lives.
4. Give your old clothing away. Most homeless shelters need clothing. Because women and children represent significant portions of the homeless population, your clothing can go to people who need it the most. Instead of taking the clothing to a secondhand store to be resold, take it somewhere the workers can give it to people in need.
5. Blog about it! Many issues suffer from lack of awareness. By blogging, you can open dialogue on the discussion, connect with other activists, and even make a bit of money to donate to the cause.
6. Offer to babysit. Do you know a single mama who’s struggling to make ends meet? Give her an evening by herself by offering to keep her children for a few hours. This free gift of your time can help a mom keep her sanity.
7. Organize a career fair. Contact local providers of career counseling and resumes, as well as your local colleges. Set up booths with information geared to young women, either college students or high school girls. Provide the information for free to help them navigate career choices.
8. Raise funds for a scholarship. Does your local university have a women’s studies department? If so you could help out one student. Plan a small fundraiser, such as a spaghetti dinner or tickets-only party and give the proceeds to one deserving college student.