Part of being a resilient family is a connection to the community. How deep and effective these connections have to do with how intentional and conscious you are about making them. With the right plan, you can have a truly joyful and abundant connection with your community. One which enriches your family and which your family enriches the local communities. This is a slow process and very rewarding.
Communities are a significant part of a company’s growth, providing both opportunities for growth and resources to support the business. However, for businesses to get access to these materials, they need to be on good terms with their local communities.
1. Find Your Passion
The key to having a fulfilling experience within your community is to have whatever community experiences you choose that line up with your values. A good starting point would be to sit down with your family and talk about the world. What are the changes that you’d all like to see in the world? What do you think the biggest change is? Once you have a list you can start looking at what groups in your community are interested in these causes.
We all have only so many hours in the day. You’re probably already feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelm is often the result of difficulty prioritizing as well as overcoming in some areas of your life. Think about how many hours out of each day you’re going to dedicate to caring for yourself, investing in your partnership, caring for your family, and work. And the next question is how many hours in the week or the month are you willing to give to the activities of local communities?
Family & Value
The last piece of the puzzle is what’s the value to your family? If it’s something that you can all get behind or a cause that you feel communicates a key value to your children, then it’s definitely worthwhile.
A community doesn’t have to be all about good causes. There may be activities like extracurricular athletics that plug you into your local communities as well. The tendency here is to sign our kids up and just go with the flow. Be more intentional! Think about what is it that you will get out of this organization? It might be just a way to occupy your children, it might be a way to make new friends. If new friends are one of the things you’re looking for work at it!
2. Be The Change You Want To See
When connecting with change-driven communities, you’re going to want to do more than just give lip service. For example, if you are connected with your local sustainability group, you’re probably going to want to demonstrate to your children and yourself your commitment.
This will demand conversations about the cause, and how you’re going to manifest it in your lives. You’re going to need to drive change in your own life to set an example for your children and be integrity with yourself. You’ll never do this perfectly. Baby steps are fine. We don’t need to get involved with a cause and turn our whole lives upside down in 24 hours. We can stretch it out over time so that it does not disturb the fabric of our family overly much.
3. Ingrain It Into Your Family Culture
Not only do you want to adopt principles of the community groups that you’re supporting, but you also want to integrate them into the mindset of your children and yourself. The easiest way to do this is through participating in sponsored events of local communities.
Going back to the sustainability example, park cleanup days, fundraising events, educational opportunities, are all great ways to integrate the values and community into the fabric of your family and vice versa.
You will be talking about the values, acting on the values, and living them. Children will always do as we do not as we say!
4. Volunteer as a Family
Volunteering at community events is a great way to pull yourselves together as a family. Not that you’re apart, it will just make the family tighter. These are the experiences that really make an impression on everyone.
The more that you practice volunteering at events as a family, the more your children will take the lead in this activity. Eventually, they will bring home events for you to participate in. This is when you know you’ve truly ingrained an important value until the lives of your children!
5. Have Events in Your Home
Do a mini fundraiser in your own home. Or do some neighborhood awareness meetings in your home. Take the lead in your community.
When you take the lead in your community in small ways, this is where trust is really built. Having people in your home, entertaining them, sharing what you’ve been doing and what you’re interested in will build bridges unimagined.
These are the real threads of a community web. When you do this you are taking the lead in building community!
6 Amplify A Nonprofit Via Social Media
The challenge of local nonprofit organizations is connecting in social media. Let’s be honest, most of us are not interested in organizational posts. We’re much more interested in our friends and what they have to say.
When you post or repost a non-profits post that you support, you are bringing attention to that nonprofit. Why? Because your friends are looking at your posts. And when you share this information, and your enthusiasm about it, and why it’s worthwhile they’re much more likely to look at it than if they just see it standing on its own.
The risk of social media posts is possibly drawing negative flack. In the event that this does happen be gentle. One response could be not responding. Another would be saying something like I’m sorry you feel that way.
7. Be Genuine And Consistent
It is so easy to get sucked into community activities and find yourself lost in them. That’s why we started with how much time do you have to invest really? You want to hold yourself to this.
It’s vital that we remain authentically engaged. That we really put our care on the front burner. The second that we get sucked into the bureaucracies of community organizations, we run the risk of burning out. When volunteering, make sure that the time investment, and who you’ll be working with are very clearly articulated. Community organizations are horrible at articulating the real commitment. You’re going to need to press them on this!
Remain excited, committed, and invested! Manage your own timelines and expectations. Don’t be afraid to say no. No is a complete sentence. The danger of groupthink is compromising ourselves in order to feel like or accepted. Throw this out! If they’re only going to like it and accept you based on what you do, it’s not worth it.
8. Celebrate Small Wins
Celebrate every small victory. Everyone loves a celebration, especially kids! Acknowledging them and yourself for the baby steps you’re taking to make a difference in the world are vital to remaining in the game.
Some ways to celebrate:
Celebrate with thank you notes.
Small victories demand good cookies.
A trip for icecream
Celebrate with trips to fun places.
Community activities can be a black hole in which you get sucked into compromising other areas of your life. Reassess why you’re involved and what you want to get out of it. Take a look at how much time you’re spending. Take a look at where you might be giving up time to participate. Ask yourself is this worth it? What are my kids getting out of this? Is it pulling us together as a family? Do this at least quarterly. Keep your eyes on the prize! The prize here is that you are communicating values to your children, connecting with your community, making you friends, and let’s not forget making a difference in the world.