S. E. Williams
As 2022 comes to an end, we close the book on the year that was and welcome 2023 with new resolutions, fresh optimism and great expectations. Looking to the future it is easy to forget that time is an illusion and life is a continuum connecting one generation to another, one historical event to the next in the seamless flow of forever.
That being said, it is still exciting to know that if we choose, we can start 2023 with a fresh outlook while simultaneously embracing new opportunities to make a difference in our own lives, in our interactions with those around us and how we choose to contribute to our communities and the world.
I often wonder how different, how much better our communities would be if each of us could devote just a couple of hours each week to making a difference.
I know it is easy to feel generous and give during the holiday season, but what about the rest of the year? The needs we observe this time of year exist throughout the next and there are so many ways to serve.
Just find something you are passionate about and get involved. There are almost as many ways to volunteer as there are people to do so and you can dedicate as much or as little time as you can spare.
Whether it’s working with seniors, or youth, advocating for the environment or feeding the homeless, supporting the arts or a local politician, there are programs where you can volunteer from the comfort of your home to call an older adult who is living alone once a week for about 30 minutes.
Experts agree that volunteering has as many, possibly more, benefits for the volunteer as it does for the cause(s) they choose to serve.
Research has shown that volunteering enhances your self-confidence, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life. It can help combat depression, help you stay physically healthy, provide a sense of purpose and even teach valuable skills. Equally as important, it can also provide opportunities to establish and nurture new and existing relationships.
As the inland region continues to evolve and expand its multi-cultural, multi-racial majority, what better way to build a caring and cohesive community than to be an active participant in creating the type of supportive community we desire?
There are hundreds of volunteers working across the region making a difference every day, yet those hundreds could easily be thousands. Consider volunteering yourself or as a family, it’s a wonderful way of teaching your children to give back. Volunteering is also another way to transmit values and because children learn by observing, it is highly probable they will model this behavior.
Explore local nonprofits and cultural organizations, schools, faith-based institutions, nearby hospitals, or other community based organizations. There is room and opportunities for everyone to get involved in something they are passionate about.
Let 2023 be the year you got involved and do your part to help make a difference.
Of course, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.
Happy New Year and “Thank you” for helping Black Voice News and the IE Voice “Keep it Real” .