A healthy and effective democracy is predicated on an active and informed electorate. Democracy works for us when we care for each other and work towards building a more just and equitable future. We have a duty to transform our anguish into action.
One of my volunteers this summer volunteered to phone bank every week. She said, “It is so easy to watch the news and feel discouraged and depressed. By taking action I feel empowered, and it helps me sleep at night knowing I’m helping.
Below are some tips and reflections to help you and your network mobilize into enacting positive change. Let’s talk about how!
1) Find a cause you’re passionate about
There are many great causes you can support. Find one that resonates with you, research existing organizations and initiatives doing the work already (this is key!), and then get to work! Examples range from combating food insecurity, supporting your unhoused neighbors, child literacy and so much more!
Volunteermatch.org is a great way to find organizations and causes to support in your area! There are also remote/virtual opportunities available.
2) Prioritize consistency: make volunteering and/or donating a habit
Whether this is with your volunteer time, donation money or both, find a way to keep it sustainable! While working in campaigns, many prospective volunteers would sign up for every phone bank while they felt fired up to help, but ultimately no-showed to every shift because they got overwhelmed by the commitment.
Likewise, if you can afford a $5 or a $500 dollar donation, find a way to automatically give a set amount to a cause or organization out of each paycheck. The key is starting slow and remain steady - you can always increase your commitment later!
3) Keep the faith and take action!
Change is driven by everyday people supporting each other. For example, if you see an unhoused neighbor outside of a store, ask them if there is anything you can purchase them (if you have the means).
Is there an issue you and your network is passionate about? Set up a Zoom call with people in your network to write emails and call your elected officials. You can let your officials know how you want them to advocate on your behalf.