get_involved
Compassion is the emotion that forms out of concern for others. For many individuals, this is easy to feel, but harder to put into action. The desire to do good, but not knowing where to start and how to help are common roadblocks.

Luckily, this block is easily overcome. Whether you are young or old, well off or just getting by, there are ways to help and get involved with causes that matter to you.

1. Educate yourself

Getting involved doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be an expert, but it’s good to know at least the basics. Good questions to ask before getting involved may include: what is their goal, how are they working toward that goal, which route of involvement works best for your lifestyle, etc.

One worthy cause has shared, “Read, check out documentaries, listen to podcasts on your way to work – whatever you can do to learn the most that you can about your cause will only help… by giving you the knowledge you need to educate others and ignite change.”

2. Use your own unique skills

One of the beautiful things about the world we live in is how individuals are able to get together with varying skills in order to accomplish a similar goal. Getting involved with causes works the same way.

The key is to figure out what you can offer to your cause of choice. “Identify your skills—whether you’re bilingual, you have some teaching experience, or you’re skilled at communications and marketing—and volunteer them for an organization you care about. More importantly, use it as an opportunity to learn more about the issue and advocate for it.”

3. Social media

In the world that we live in, technology can be an incredibly easy way to promote a cause. Whether it’s a quick photo, a shared article, or a hashtag there are ways to share with your friends what matters most to you.

There are several ways to share information and raise awareness through social media. Get creative and try things out. You never know how much impact your post will have.

4. Get political

This one is often seen as the most daunting way to get involved with a cause, but it doesn’t have to be.

For individuals that don’t feel comfortable meeting with congress members, there are other ways. One that doesn’t take much time, yet accomplishes a lot, is sending a quick email. If you know of bills that are in congress that relate to your cause, let your leaders know that it matters to you.

At The Borgen Project, encouraging individuals to call or email congress members is a main aspect of the job, but why?

“Congressional staffers keep a tally of every issue that voters call, write and email the leader about. This information goes into a weekly report that is viewed by the Congressional leader. Your one email will get the issue or bill on the leaders radar.”

For those that are comfortable with putting themselves out there, lobbying, bird dogging and sending YouTube videos to congress are all excellent ways to share your support and get involved with your cause.

5. Volunteer/Fundraise

These two are usually the first things that come to mind when we think of personal involvement in a cause of our choice.

For many, a personal block is the feeling that small contributions don’t really help. “But you don’t have to be raking in thousands to donate to a cause—every little bit helps and you can start small.”

Whatever your cause is, check out the site and look for opportunities to volunteer or fundraise. Doing such is a great opportunity and often very rewarding.

The take home from this is that there are ways to get involved for everyone; no matter what lifestyle you live, there are ways to contribute.

Katherine Martin

Sources: One Green Planet, The Muse, Borgen Project
Photo: Wikimedia