Making a Difference in 2017: 10 Ways to Create Community
Last week we put forth calls to action, opportunities to activate, rally, and rise up. And as many of the worst case scenario events continue to transpire in our country and under the influence of our nation’s leaders, we need each other more than ever.
Because we’re all in this together, no matter what happens.
– Organize a clothing swap with friends to give items that you don’t wear a new life. Suggest that “swappers” leave a small donation for each piece of clothing, and decide together on a non-profit to donate the money to.
– Attend the Bay Area Maker Faire to support the spirit of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. The Maker Movement organizes events to showcase the amazing work ‘makers’ of all ages and disciplines, from tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and more. This is how innovation happens.
– Start or join a book club that is centered around understanding and reacting to the political climate, as well as connecting with fellow leftists, liberals, socialists, and progressives who want to do more. Goodreads’ The Liberal Politics & Current Events Book Club is one way to speak with a wider community and get book ideas for your own small group.
– Organize a visit to a California State Park. In the Golden State we are fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenes of nature, as well as having a state determined to protect them. A truly frightening anti-environmentalist is coming into power, now is the time to spend time appreciating what we have, and strategize ways to do more by talking with the park officials while on a hike or nature walk.
– Volunteer for a beach cleanup day with a group of friends to help restore treasures sites along the California coast. Save the Bay, Heal the Bay, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and Aquarium of the Bay all organize coastal cleanups that give you a chance to roll up your sleeves and physically get to work.
– California is a fantastic place to go fruit picking, take a group of friends and family to one of the many “u-pick” farms around and harvest your favorite juicy treats. Many of these are local farmers who invite visitors in to help their businesses thrive, and give you an extra chance to buy local.
– Our country has a rich history that stretches back far beyond any Founding Fathers. Lead a group of fellow learners in digging deep into the indigenous history of the place you’ve lived in for years, maybe your whole life, and learn the stories that existed here long before ours did. Perspective and understanding will go far towards creating a deep and wide community.
– Initiate a mail chain for your community to send encouragement, positive messages, or tokens of appreciation to each other throughout the year. Make it anonymous or transparent, and return to the sweet and simple act of snail mail.
– Create a community garden in your neighborhood to design both a bright spot near your streets and a place to organically grow your own produce.
– Take a break to host a game night for a purposeful chance to relax, decompress, and reconnect with friends. Need a cathartic reminder that things could (possibly) be worse? Try Pandemic, Risk, Avalon, or Alien Frontiers for alternate realities, world domination, and end of the world scenarios. Checkout Bookshop Santa Cruz for more recommendations.
Maybe you are already surrounded by a strong, supportive community that is ready to fight alongside you. Or maybe you are actively searching for like-minded people with whom to team up with. Whatever the case, muster your tribe, for by joining efforts, pooling resources, and supporting each other, we can be a part of building a better world.
How will you invest in your community this year? Share your stories with us!