The two main appeals of Netflix are the convenience that it provides and the extremely broad selection of movies and television shows that it offers subscribers. However, sometimes the vast array of titles can be a bit overwhelming.
Raise your hand if you’ve spent hours telling yourself “I’ll just look at three more rows” … only to find yourself back at your original first choice. (Who would have thought that Zombie Invaders 3.2 would be so bad?!)
Pursuing community service activities and exploring ways to involve yourself in civic participation can be a bit like getting lost in Netflix. With so many opportunities and organizations, finding the right fit can feel very daunting. However, by narrowing down your focus to more specific categories, you will find your search to be much easier and there’s a better chance that you will enjoy your participation. This is great for you and for your community!
This is the broadest category and these events generally involve a number of organizations working in tandem to either accomplish a particular task (think riverbank cleanup, delivery of food or clothes to natural disaster victims) or to put on a large-scale event (like a local music festival, children’s field day). The beauty of these kinds of events lies in the flexibility that they usually possess in regards to volunteer requirements. For example, you may be interested in helping only on the day of the event or more long term, such as participation on a planning committee or with event marketing. The excitement that permeates from these events as well as the vast number of people involved ensure that your participation, whether in a limited capacity or as a long-term volunteer, will be both incredibly rewarding and fun!
Think about the kinds of events that interest you; you shouldn’t have a hard time finding the perfect community event to get involved with!
You can find a number of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations in nearly every medium-size and large city. These organizations normally serve a particular population or interest that founders feel is not receiving the kinds of attention or benefits — having slipped through cracks, so to speak — from formal government organizations or agencies. You can lose yourself in the number of causes and mission statements that these organizations possess; however, narrowing down organizations based off of your own interests and beliefs will help you to easily identify the perfect group with which to involve yourself. These organizations normally possess both professional, full-time workers as well as long-term volunteers leaving you with a number of different ways to involve yourself in organizational activities. Many cities will have listings of the nonprofit organizations located in the area and a simple Internet search will garner a number of listings. Take a look at a few websites for organizations that you are interested in and reach out. I guarantee that they’ll be happy to hear from you!
Think about causes that you care about; you’ll find and organization and like-minded activists in no time!
Civic engagement involves a plethora of activities and organizations, some that have already been mentioned. The political branch of civic engagement involves opportunities to give back by directly involving yourself in political processes! At the most basic level, voting in local elections (turnouts normally pale in comparison to national elections) is a means of engaging in political civic engagement. Actively participating in local campaigns (passing out candidate literature, educating the general public about candidate positions) is another way to get involved. Additionally, attending and participating in local government city council or budget meetings can add citizen-perspective to the public policymaking process. For the more ambitious, pursuing an elected position, whether on the school board, city council, or even as the chief executive, can be very time-consuming, but is also an excellent way to help give back to your community!
Think about changes that you would like to city in your city or community; you’ll quickly find ways to voice your opinions or to support those who share a similar outlook!
As any Netflix subscriber can tell you, the movie search gets much easier when you’ve at least decided on a genre. The same can be said for narrowing down how you would like to give back! Get out there and make a difference; it will be a much more enjoyable experience than watching The Hangover Part VII!