What is community? And what does it mean to be a part of one? While the definition differs around the globe, one element remains consistent; community is what we do for each other (thank you FB for my latest compilation video). And I’ve come to a conclusion: Community matters, now more than ever.
A friend once said, “You can’t call it Community if someone feels excluded or ostracized.” At the time, the statement really resonated with me. I was relatively new to town and to our children’s nursery school. I felt excluded. I felt ostracized from my immediate network(s).
You’ll hear me say (and write) that it takes a village. A lot. It takes support and encouragement from friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers to have courage to get through the parenting years. We have important jobs as parents raising the next generation. It’s important that we show our children what it means to be a community and how to participate in a community.
What Can YOU Do?
Be the example to your children. Be the example to your friends, family, and acquaintances. Demonstrate grace to strangers. Get involved. Give back. How, you ask? I’ll tell you!
1. Understanding, a sense of confidence, and communication are key to healthy relationships, both as children and adults. Dream Village teaches children about social and environmental issues through illustrated books. Each book purchased results in a $5 donation and buyers can vote for their preferred cause! The company even offers “Learn” and “Do” pages to educate parents and children alike about important causes and how they can get involved!
2. “Daymaker empowers kids to help kids today for a more compassionate tomorrow.” Children can choose to match with a buddy who has a similar birthday and interests, and purchase much needed items. Or for your child’s birthday, guests can purchase items from your child’s buddy’s list!
3. charity:water is working to tackle the world’s clean water problem one project at a time. “Clean water changes everything…from improving health, reducing time spent collecting water, increased education (less time spent gathering water = more time in the classroom!), and female empowerment (more girls in the classroom = a better future).” Your family (and community!) can choose to get involved in a number of ways, such as: donating funds, pledging funds (e.g., pledge your child’s next birthday party), and fundraising.
Supporting Each Other
It is how we relate to each other as human beings that generates and nurtures a sense of community. Demonstrate love, understanding and acceptance. Find a cause that you believe in and get involved. The best parts? You can bring your community along with you, you’ll be working toward a better tomorrow, and your children will thank you for it.