Another year is quickly passing us by and yet when I reach out into the community both in Belize and in the Diaspora, I see the same shit happening. People finding faults in each other and trying to bring down the other person while they make all excuses in the book to applaud and protect criminal leaders and allow them to drag the nation further down the mud pit. Instead of making ourselves stronger as a people we are allowing ourselves to be divided and conquered; hell, in fact, we are doing it to ourselves and asking for it to be done in the areas that we can’t do it ourselves. This article is not only for people in Belize but for anyone that wants to see their community get better. Some tips will work for you, some won’t; it depends on where you live on this rock we call home.
As time slips us by, instead of being jerks and bullies to each other; how about we step back and outside the cages that have been built for us. Let’s stop treating each other like animals and shit and start to build our community. It’s not as hard as you think it to be, it’s actually easy as heck and all it takes is you (myself included) being willing to do it. Far too long have we allowed this single unit minded brainwashing to take us over and break down the very fabric of our society. Children watch and learn from their parents and others in the community they grow up in.
Loving your neighbors is to be a family and is far beyond DNA connection.
Blood may be thicker than water, but love, kindness, trust and ability to empathize with each other in the face of every adversity is what we should call my family.
– Kemmy Nola
How do we do this you ask?
Well, like I said; it’s quite simple really. DO YOUR PART in the whole, and in so doing you kill two birds with one stone.
- Your communities will be better as a result.
- Your children will learn to value their community and those around them.
These things catch on and will only make our future better every generation. Here are some things to get you started.
Close to home
Getting children to take pride in their community is fairly easy and inexpensive. You can even look to your local hardware store for help with little things like plants.
- Get a few parents together to do this, maybe start a neighborhood group.
- Walk around your neighborhood and pick up garbage from the side of the roads.
- Plant flowers in a nearby park or at a school.
- Someone had a baby, surgery, etc in your neighborhood? Get families together to help with chores around the house, cooking or simply just visiting for a bit.
Homeless or Hungry
Children learn by making connections and what better way to connect with the daily growing issues plaguing societies all over the world and let them help the less fortunate. Yes, I know things keep getting harder for us all but even a little bit goes a long way when you literally have nothing. It is important that we expose our children to the reality of hitting rock bottom and that it could be us and them one day.
- Have a homeless shelter in your area or a food pantry? Get together with families and bring the kids to cook and serve meals.
- If there is none, work with your local Govt office, Church or a local non-profit org to start one.
- Keep some extra snacks with you in your car and pass them out as you go about your day.
- Collect coats or blankets to give out if you live in a cold area.
- Shop for a cheap toy and have your child give it to a child in need. You can even have your child(ren) sort through toys they don’t play with anymore. A simple gesture can make a HUGE impact in the life of a child.
- Same goes for clothes.
Animals and Nature
Animals are awesome, I love dogs and so does my son. Kids love animals and what better way to get them going than with animals. I was told by a FB friend that:
It is very developmentally helpful for a child to have a dog as a pet. It is the only thing in his/her world that he/she can tell what to do.
- Get to know your local vet, ask if your child can volunteer to help them with the animals.
- Reach out to animal shelters, your child can volunteer there.
- Does your community have a nature center or petting zoo, volunteer with your child.
- Offer to walk a pet for the elderly in your neighborhood.
- Neighbors going on vacation and they have pets? Offer to pet sit for them.
- Rescuing abused pets or just rescuing animals in general is growing and this is a great opportunity for kids to get involved.
People in general
A community is not just you and the neighbors that surround your house or the ones you like. A community is an extension of your family, as you read in the quote above and we need to start treating it as such. Together we can improve our community and ensure it thrives and only keeps getting better.
- Organize local community groups for different things you think is needed in your community. Stop waiting for others to do things. Action takes on a dominoes effect, it will only keep catching and more people will start to see needs and move on creating solutions.
- Volunteer at a local senior citizen home, a companion is a great thing if even for a short time.
- Visit a nursing home or children’s hospital and bring some treats. Reach out to your local ice-cream shop or make an easy on the stomach treats. Call the hospital before so you know what to bring. 🙂
- Volunteer to help at your child’s school. You can help in the office, or keep an eye on the kids as they are coming to school in the morning or leaving for the day. The safety and success of our children is important and Educators can only do so much.
- Volunteer at your library, help with re-shelving books.
- To add to the library tip. Reach out to parents and start a book club where older children can volunteer to read books for younger children.
- Host a movie night for children in your neighborhood at a school or library. Each person chips in for snacks and the movie.
- Check your local hospital for volunteer policies, this is a great way to get teens involved in caring. If your hospital does not have one, start one with them.
- Reach out to families to bring meals to the firehouse.
- We all see the special Olympics on TV. Why not volunteer at your local office to help around and if there is none in your area, start one.
- Make it a practice to visit at least one neighbor in your area a month until you meet them all.
- Invite others to come along with you. Pretty soon you can start having neighborhood meetings on how to better improve your little neck of the woods.
- Once you establish your corner, reach out as a group to families a little bit further. Keep doing this until it starts to spread automatically. This will not work unless we are willing to make it work.
How can we start to get funding to implement some of these ideas or others?
- You can start by reaching out to your local Churches, they collect money to help people; get them to put those monies to proper use. 🙂
- Reach out to local businesses and banks.
- Get families together to chip in and have bake sales and such.
- Come up with other ideas that can generate money while involving kids and focus on creating a positive atmosphere at the events. Last thing you need is to have a belligerent drunk spoiling the event. 😉
There you go, quick tips to get started. Take the first step, you may surprise yourself … As Bilbo Baggins said:
It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door.
You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.
– Bilbo Baggins
And here is an extra one for you:
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
— J R R Tolkien
Have an idea you’d like to share or that would work for this topic, leave a comment below. Let’s get our journey back on the right road together.