Category Archives: Community Service Initiatives

Charity Fundraising – How to Raise Money Quickly

If you’re thinking of starting a charity fund raising event, then you probably know all the most obvious questions that you should be asking yourself. These include why this non profit charity fund raising needs to exist or who will help run the fund raising event. You need to have a clear idea of the scope of what the fund raising will be used for and where the fund raising event will take place. If you have the answers to all these things, then you’re well on your way to making your dream a reality.

Now that you know what your goals are for your charity fund raising there are some technical issues that you might encounter. These are such things as whether your charity requires a non-profit corporation. Non profit fundraising means receipts for tax deductible contributions. Your non-profit fund raising also has to support a legitimate charity. You also need to have non-profit exempt status so that your charity does not have to pay taxes on the money raised.  If you qualify for this tax exemption then you better be prepared to have a lot of paperwork because you’ll need to keep all records of everything.

For non profit fund raising to be legitimate, you really do need a board of directors. When you’re choosing board members for your non profit charity fundraising, you have to choose wisely. Charity fund raising board members can come from any background but there are some points to keep in mind. Each should bring a special ability with them and it is very important that they are committed to your purpose. Try to find people that are fairly low key in your community. These will be the ones that are interested in your non profit fund raising.

This board will set the rules of the non profit organization but they will also be responsible and accountable in a lot of things in the non-profit fundraising. They will have to make the policies, budgeting, planning, the non profit fund raising itself, and human resources. Your non profit charity fund raising also needs an executive director. This job will require a skilled person and when you decide on this position for charity fund raising, he/she should have the freedom to lead the rest and do what is best for your non- profit fund raising.

So as you can see depending on the size of your charity fund raising, it is going to be a job in itself to get set up. There will be a lot of work for everyone involved with the non profit fund raising, but it will be worth while when you accomplish your goal at the end.

You need to know your goals if you are doing some charity fund raising.

Charity Give Away and Do Something Great

Every person I know has a house filled with many things. Go into your bedroom and look in your closet. I am quite sure that you do not wear all of the clothes you see (although congratulations if you do!). And I am equally sure that you do not really need all ten pairs of similar black dress shoes. Or take a glance at your recreation gear in the garage. When is the last time you actually used those cross-country skis? There is a solution – a great solution – to downsize your life and do something great for your community at the same time. Give to charity. There are a variety of suitable organizations who would be glad to take your excess possessions of your hands.

Deciding to give to charity is a perfect way to accomplish many good things all at once. Obviously, giving to charity is a great way to help those in need. You may have many extra pairs of pants, but it is quite likely that many people in your town struggle to afford owning more than one or two pairs at once. You might be shocked if you knew all of the common, every day needs people live with each day. Out of your excess you can help the increase the quality of life for others. What an amazing thing to be a part of.

Giving to charity is not only great for those who receive the items, it is also great for those who give. That is right. Giving will fast become something you treasure. Nothing feels better than practicing generosity, and you will quickly find that you will look for ways to simplify your life in order to bless others. Giving to charity will also give you the chance to simplify your overcomplicated life. As years go by people tend to gather more things than they can use at once. Just think back to when you first moved into your current home or apartment. Remember how you did not have enough to fill all of your closests and pantries? Look at those same closets and pantries now and I bet you will find that they are overflowing. Do you remember where those glasses came from? Who gave you that wool sweater again?

But how do you decide what to give to charity and what to keep? I will give you a few practical tips. With clothing, if you have not worn it at all during the last two years, chances are high that you will not have a need to wear it again. Household items can be a little harder to separate, but a good rule of thumb is that if you cannot remember the last time you used it, you probably do not need it. Just begin going through your possessions and decide as you go. If you are in doubt about an item, ask yourself these questions: do I really need it? Will I really use this? Is there someone else who could use this item more than me?

Giving to charity is a wonderful way to simplify your home, learn to see the needs of others and meet them all at the same time. Why not take a quick walk through your house and consider giving some of your things to charity today.

Community Health in Kids Revealed

Experts say many communities across the nation are becoming less healthy, a dangerous trend that can harm children’s health.

Often, these problems exist because the way communities are designed can have serious health consequences, especially for children and families.

For example, in urban areas, lack of sidewalks, safe spaces to play, and access to fresh foods contribute to increases in childhood obesity. In communities all across the country, children are exposed to preventable toxins at home, at school and outdoors that can cause serious diseases.

Many children, especially those living in low-income communities, do not have a nearby doctor or pharmacy to provide them with the health care they need.

Fortunately, there are things communities across the nation are doing to improve children’s health. For instance, in MacArthur Park, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, the community came together to create a free health clinic and new affordable housing. An abandoned minimall was transformed into a new charter school that offers health and recreation programs for families in the community.

Delaware County, Ohio-the fastest growing county in the state-offers another example of what people working together can accomplish. Unchecked growth had begun to impact residents’ health when the community launched a rigorous assessment to identify areas for improvement. As a result, more parks are being built and community programs were created to encourage families and children to be more active.

Is your neighborhood healthy for children? Five questions to ask:

1. Is my family’s house free of harmful levels of mold, lead and other kinds of toxic substances?

2. Is there a safe playground nearby where my children can play?

3. Is there a grocery store in my community that offers fresh meat, fruits and vegetables?

4. Is there a health clinic or pharmacy in my neighborhood?

5. Is the air in my neighborhood clean and safe for my kids to breathe?

Community Magazines – Writing – Publishing – Reading

So you’ve made the decision to publish your own community magazine, but what now? Where do you go for advice, information and above all, inspiration?

Despite its growing popularity, the business of publishing local community magazines is not covered to any great extent on the internet and there are very few web sites where you can get informal advice and communicate with like-minded people. Unlike normal publishing, the business of publishing local community magazines is very often the domain of individuals working alone for much of the time, and it can become a solitary existence.

Basically, there are two types of local community magazines favoured by aspiring local publishers. The first comprises booklets, usually in A5 size, containing local trade and business advertisements, and this type of magazine is generally distributed around your local area free of charge, with income being made from advertising revenue alone.

There are several franchise opportunities available for this type of community magazine which can prove to be a great way to get started as almost everything you will require is included in the package, including software, advertisement templates and on-going support. The drawback to this type of opportunity is the initial cost of your investment, which can be as high as several thousand pounds. A number of companies now offer local community magazine publishing franchises and a search on the internet will enable you to obtain further information from those readily available.

The second type of local community magazine offers a much more personal reflection on your community, comprising the recollections of local people and a study of your town’s local history, which are compiled into a saleable product. It is unlikely that you will find a franchise opportunity available for this type of magazine and if you decide to go along this path then much of the groundwork will have to be done by yourself. However, in terms of overall interest, this type of magazine will offer much more appeal to your readers.

Establishing a local community magazine featuring the recollections of people from within your home community along with studies of your town’s local history can be accomplished with very little financial investment. It is possible to begin printing your magazines from home using a suitable laser printer until you have established a circulation sufficient to meet the cost of commercial printing. Even if you opt for commercial printing from the outset your initial investment could be relatively small.

The main difference between these two very different types of magazines is that one is distributed free of charge, while the second has to be marketed and sold, although as we have already learned, the second type of magazine produces a very saleable product.

A magazine based primarily on local advertising can be highly lucrative but the competition can be intense as there are already a large number of similar publications in circulation and you may well find yourself competing against large-scale organisations. On the other hand, a magazine featuring personal recollections will generally have very little, if any, competition.

Whichever option you choose there is a fair amount of work to be done in order to become established. You must either contact local businesses and sell your advertising space or you must obtain interesting accounts of your town for publication. As always, getting started is the most difficult part.

In terms of appeal among your intended audience, the more personal community magazine is easily the better option and can soon generate sufficient interest to ensure that once you have obtained content to begin publishing, additional content will be submitted directly to you by your readers.

It must be borne in mind that a magazine based on advertising can also incorporate features providing local interest, and in much the same way, a magazine featuring personal recollections can include local trade and business advertising as a source of supplementary income.

Publishing local community magazines can either be simply a business or a very enjoyable and extremely satisfying business – but that is for you to decide.

The Prestige of Community Involvement

Who are the country’s most courageous people? In many people’s minds, it’s the heroes in their communities: firefighters, police officers and emergency response teams.

Firefighters and police officers were ranked among the country’s most prestigious professions in a poll conducted by Harris Interactive. According to the survey, prestige is strongly associated with respect, public service and good work, and professions with high prestige are those that benefit society and the people they serve.

Yet prestige isn’t necessarily what they face in a dangerous job in which their lives are at risk every day.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks brought to national attention the need for better emergency response equipment and technology. Toy drives, pancake breakfasts and other fundraising events are just some of the ways communities have come together since then to raise money to help their local heroes.

Many U.S. companies continue to support the cause as well. Wal-Mart stores, for example, give to these organizations on an ongoing basis. And, as a part of their annual nationwide emphasis on safety in October, each of the 3,700 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations provides a special grant to local law enforcement officers and firefighters through their “Safe Neighborhood Heroes” program. This year, the company will provide a total of $8 million in $1,000 grants from each of its stores to local fire, police and emergency response teams.

Create Something from Community Service

What is the more important goal of any kid?  Well if you are a kid or have a kid, you can guess the answer right away.  It isn’t concerns about having enough to eat, where they will sleep or whether the bomb will be dropped tomorrow.  No the worse fate that can befall a kid is summed up in one plea – “What can I do?  I’m bored!”

It may seem like an odd suggestion then, to both the kid out there and to the ones charged with battling this dread affliction of “boredom” in the kids on our lives that there is one medicine for boredom that you may not have given a chance.  And that is community service.

Now this may be a tough sell because on the surface, community service isn’t a toy or a video game or something designed to entertain kids.  It is something so much different from any of those repacked amusements.  It’s for real.  Lots of computer games are made to give you the feeling you created something whether it’s a city, an alien planet or a spaceship.  But when you turn off the computer, that creation is gone because it never was real.

With community service you DO create something and not by talking to a pretend civilization on the computer screen.  Oh no, what you create is real, it will be there tomorrow when you go back.  And you are dealing with real people and solving real problems.  All of a sudden, the kid isn’t so much a kid any more.  He or she is a valuable member of the community, just like an adult and there is not better feeling than that!

There are tons of other great reasons to get involved in community service this summer or as a hobby to replace the endless hours playing computer games.  There is such a huge variety of things you can get involved with through community service that you can get your hands dirty on a hobby or an interest that you really want to be involved in.  And you won’t be just enjoying that great interest by yourself because you will be working side by side with other youths, older kids in college or beyond, young dads and moms and even grandparents all who don’t want to sit home and be bored and would rather be out there being somebody for someone else.

Volunteering can even give you as much variety as playing games or fooling around with toys might give you and you don’t have to beg mom and dad to buy you a thing.  In most towns or cities, there is a community service coordinating group that will have dozens and dozens of ways you can plug in and do something for someone else.  Some of the great ways you can pitch in and help out might include…

1. Helping stock food that will go out to famine victims or hurricane survivors.

2. Serving meals at the homeless shelter to families who really need the help.  In fact, after the meal is over, those homeless kids would like nothing more than to spend a few hours with some new friends enjoying a simple game or just learning about each other.

3. Help the Special Olympics put on one of their athletic outings.  If you or your kids love sports, what better way to put that skill to work helping others than letting someone who isn’t as lucky as you know that great feeling of winning a race or sinking a basket.

4. Reading to a shut in or to the blind.  You think its great hearing a story?  You haven’t had a thrill until you read it to someone else who has never heard it and you see their face as they enjoy every new twist and turn of the plot.

Community service gives young hands a chance to really make a difference to others in the community.  But maybe the most important thing it does is it opens kid’s eyes to how great it is to stop worrying about themselves and help someone else out for a little while.  It is the kind of addiction your mom and dad will be glad you got into.  And chances are you will never again complain, “What can I do?  I’m bored!”

Global Community Service Initiatives

When we think of community service, we almost always think in terms of our local community.  And reaching out to those in your own town is truly the most dynamic type of community service.  But there are dramatic examples of people who reached out beyond the city limits of where they lived to really make a difference in the lives of people around them.

Examples of ways that neighbors reached out to neighbors beyond their borders and out into the larger community of the nation can be found in youth outreach programs through local churches or community centers.  Every year thousands of youth spread out all over the country to help those less fortunate than themselves.  But there is one example of neighbor helping neighbor even past the borders of our country.  This is an example of government working hand in hand with citizens to extend helping hands around the world.  And that example of community service on a global scale is the Peace Corps.

The idea of the Peace Corps was the brainchild of dreamers during the 1960s, a decade where the youth of America were searching for self-definition.  It took a dynamic leader like John F. Kennedy to take that vision and find a way to organize it into a government program that could capitalize on the energy, the good will and the enthusiasm of youth to reach out to nations around the world.  The idea had gained sufficient momentum that it became an important part of Kennedy’s campaign for the presidency so much so that when President Kennedy gave his inaugural speech, it was the Peace Corps he was talking about when he uttered those historic words…

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country”

The Peace Corps has given tens of thousands of America’s youth the opportunity to become part of a large community service outreach where that opportunity may not have existed before.  Since its inception in 1960, over 187,000 people have served in the Peace Corps.

If we take the time to reflect on the mission of the Peace Corps, it was truly an ambitious undertaking.  The scope of this new federal agency was well summarized in the wording of the actual law that brought into being which states that the Peace Corps was established… ‘to promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the peoples of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower.” One wonders how the Peace Corps really is a way for a young person to ask what they can do for America in that it is an outreach to people in need all over the world.  But in truth, efforts like the Peace Corps have done as much to promote democracy and to build good will between foreign nations and the United States as any official ambassador or formal meeting of heads of states could ever do.

The Peace Corps has build relationships between peoples at the local level.  And it is when the citizens of nations around the world see the true hearts of Americans and that sense of trust and good will is built up between peoples that the good will that naturally happens on a Peace Corps outing begins to take root and change opinions on a national level about what America is really all about.

We can only hope that the Peace Corps continues to do its good work for many generations to come.  The friendship it builds between people of all nationalities can go further to spread democracy and our way of life than any war can do.  And in doing so, it fulfills the dream of President Kennedy that America’s youth would be more about helping others than their own ambitions and that this would be his legacy to America and indeed to all the world.