We just wrapped up a successful Create the Change Day season spanning all three of our cities – Boston, LA and the Bay Area. As a small nonprofit, three major events in five weeks in three different cities was no small task. Now that the busyness of it all is in the rear view mirror, we are able to sit back, enjoy and reflect on all the good that came from those days…and there was a lot of good! (We’ve got LOTS of ways to create more good below too, so keep reading!)
Perhaps as much as anything, we are struck by how easy it was to create community in those moments. Everyone who came did so with a desire for nothing more than to make a difference. People gave up their Sunday afternoons in service to others – no football, no Fortnite, no other distractions. In large part, they were events full of people who had never rubbed elbows before, but that didn’t matter. They were there for the same reason, and there was an energy in each of those spaces much bigger than the individuals in it. The sum was definitely greater than the parts. But that’s what happens when we build community. We become something greater than our individual parts.
As we try to impart every day, creating community does not require running for public office or leading a community-based organization (although those things are great). It is the choice to turn to one’s neighbor with a friendly smile, to pick up trash along your path when you see it, to help a friend struggling at school, to see a neighbor in need and respond with compassion.
As a part of this year’s Create The Change Days, we asked our nonprofit partners to give us other ways youth and families could assist them in the weeks ahead. Below are PDF’s from each region which should keep anyone who is interested busy for a while. And if you aren’t from one of our regions, you will still find lots of great ideas you can take into your own community too. So will you help us keep it going? It’s the perfect time of year to look outside ourselves and let the season of hope and giving inspire us all.