Saturday, October 19, 2013

Into the City

If you haven't caught on, I've been taking you on a little progression of service. We've examined our hearts and attitudes, talked about what serving means and hopefully thought about some "small bite" ways to engage with your families and neighborhoods.

Today we are going to take a bigger bite and talk about our cities. As always, I want to feel like this is something you can do. Here are five things you can do to reach out to your city:

  • Drop some diapers, tampons, and laundry soap off at a women's shelter or homeless shelter in your area. When I met with the director of the homeless shelter in my city to see how my church could partner with them, she said the biggest need for them personally wasn't food, but the things that food stamps can't get.
  • Check in with an elementary school in your area, preferably one in a lower-income section of town. Offer to bring in bagels one morning for the staff, or gather a few friends and put on an all-out lunch. It goes without saying that all teachers do far more than just teach the kids. They love them, they guide them...and they are often aware of issues that break their hearts. Let them know that they are appreciated in a tangible way.
  • Think about what your strengths are and find a way to serve someone through them. Stuck for an idea? Google "volunteer opportunities" for your city and see what comes up. My mom loves to read and now that she is retired, she's getting involved with the Literacy Council, tutoring adults.
  • Host a baby shower for an pregnancy counseling center. These organizations not only facilitate adoptions but also help moms find ways to keep their babies. You could be a huge blessing to someone.
  • If you are super motivated, look for the holes. Ask the people with boots on the ground, those doing the work already, what still needs doing. See if that might be an opportunity for you to get involved.
It's a great big world with a lot of great big problems. We went over that on Day One. But, with some effort, some sacrifice, and sometimes some courage, things get done. Keep your chin up. You can make a difference.

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