The Children's Alliance

How To Become A Hero in Your Community PDF Print Email
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 09:33

How To Become A Hero in Your Community

Most of us long to make a difference or be a hero to someone. When you hear about the person on the news who organized an amazing drive for an amazing effort and made a huge difference to someone or something, we all secretly want that to be us.

Getting started well that is when it starts to get tricky. Who or what should we support? How much time is this going to take? (Let’s be real here.) And when it is all said in done – will this even matter?  Sometimes we get so lost in these questions, we become paralyzed and do nothing.

Who Should We Support?

Well if you are on our website – you may share some of the same passions we do. We can help you get started in making a difference to a child, then to a family, and to our community.

Where Do I Start?

In our Charlotte/Mecklenburg community in 2009 we had 73,353 children under the 5 years old living here. There are currently many studies showing the incredible impact you can make on a child during the 0 – 5 years. According to Noble Peace Prize winning economist James Heckman, "Education is at the heart of the modern economy and the start of a education is a good start."

When you invest in a child under 5 you lay a foundation for the future. By the time a child reaches age 3 much of their brain development has occurred. A child has a better chance at success in school when they don’t start Kindergarten behind. A child who is successful in school graduates from high school has a better opportunity to be an active member of our community. An active member of our community not only contributes to it but we avoid a drain caused by reduced crime and social assistance.

How Do I Get Started?

Here are some ideas of what you can do to invest in a child under 5:

  1. Donate money to a group that supports this demographic. Most of these groups are working with tight budgets and increasing need. Every donation makes a major difference. (Hint: we have a whole list of great organizations in our member’s section.)
  2. Find a volunteer opportunity using your talents or interest.
  3. Support a young family. Young children are a huge energy depletor, offer to babysit for a family you know or bring dinner to an overwhelmed friend. It could be as simple as lending a hand to help that tired stranger you see in the store trying to shop with small children.
  4. Share your new found information with the people in your world. Encourage them to become active supporters.
  5. Pray for the families and young children of our community.
  6. Consider foster care opportunities. There are many children who could us a safe loving home while their family works to get on their feet.

Will it Really Matter?

Sometimes we plant a seed and we don’t get to ever see the fruit of our labor. We live in a world where we desire to see an instant outcome. In some cases you may immediately see the smile on a child’s face when you read to them – but in some cases you may not know that the encouragement or prayer led someone on a path that was life changing.

I can tell you this, we have a huge populations in our community that needs us today. In 2009 there were 34,000 children in OUR community living in poverty. There are 3,200 identified homeless children in our Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. There is plenty to do, will you help?

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