There are voices in the chorus of the world that are stilled or silent from lack of opportunity, lack of education, lack of fair treatment, lack of employment; who struggle to find food and clothing and shelter rather than raising their voices in joy and harmony. You can hear the emptiness if you listen; you can help lift those voices if you take the moment to move outside yourself to think of, and act on behalf of others.
Even a small step can make a difference, especially if many participate and try to make a difference.
Reuse – If you look around your home, you may find that you have many possessions that you haven’t used in years, and are unlikely to use. Consider boxing them up, and bringing them to your local thrift shop or Good Will or Salvation Army, so that they can be used by those who will use them and who need them.
Teach – Many cities, towns, counties, and communities provide free or low cost classes. If you have a specialized skill or knowledge, sharing with others may provide someone with an opportunity to turn an interest into a vocation. Teaching, being a mentor, sharing your knowledge and experiences in places like the Web; these are all ways that we can use to lift a hand out to others, and give them a hand up.
Chose Wisely When You Buy – Buying fair trade products means that workers on farms across the world receive a fair wage for the efforts of their labors. Buying from small local merchants and farms may help your local economy grow. Buying from ethical companies that have shown a commitment to fighting poverty, improving the environment, and treating their employees humanely may influence other companies to take such stands.
Learn – There are many resources on the Web about poverty. Educating yourself about them can help you have a conversation about poverty and how to end it. Here are a few:
Start a Conversation with Your Government Representatives – Write a letter or send an email to your representatives on a local, state, and federal level asking them what they are doing to help stop poverty, and ask if there is anything that you can do to help support their efforts. The issue is one that should already be on their minds, but your interest may help to kindle or inspire additional efforts, and the conversation is one worth starting.
Volunteer – A few hours a week or month of your time can mean a difference of a lifetime to many. Whether you work to help end hunger, or to educate, or provide opportunities to others, your efforts can make a difference. Organizations like Volunteer Match can help you find someplace local where you can make a difference.
Donate – There are many organizations that work to provide food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, educational training, and other assistance to those who are in need. Spending a few moments to find one to support with your money or time or efforts can help these organizations fulfill their missions and make a difference in the lives of many.
A single voice by itself can be beautiful, but a chorus of voices has a strength that can shake the world. Talk to your friends, your family, your coworkers and acquaintances about what you are doing to help make a difference in ending poverty, and see if they will raise their voices with yours so that the quietness of those who need can be replaced by harmony and opportunity.
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