We don't have conversations like we used to. We type words that appear on screens and we don't communicate our thoughts all that well. Our attention is short and written words reflect just how short it is, ie. twitter post lengths. We live our lives depending on snippets to inform us and expect better of those around us because of the snippets we share. We focus on headlines and we never dig deeper. We quickly share lost child posts and never bother to click to even see if we should be rejoicing for those that are found. We've gone from blogging, to mini-blogging, to reels set to music that are a great source of entertainment, but really add little value to who we are or our lives. We live by headlines, sound bites, and snippets and we judge our world on these. Social media thrives only when there is astounding news to share or an extraordinary person who catches our eye.
Our judgement of the world is far from accurate based on these tidbits. We don't see all the corruption, we don't understand the depth of conspiracies, we also do not see the most important part, the inner workings of what God is doing.
See, just below the surface of what we can see and hear is a network that goes unnoticed. The algorithms of the internet don't place much value on what is going on there. Just below the surface of what we see as hard facts and real life is a network of good happening. Organizations that are birthed from the hearts of people that love Jesus and want to do more for the world are moving and working in the communities we often neglect, our own.
I recently met a lady with a huge vision and has proven what it is she wants to do actually works
Imagine a single mom walking out of jail who has a child her parents are raising or is in the foster system. This mom is thrown into the world again; old contacts at hand, drug use still around the corner, alcohol handed to her because they KNOW she wants it. The cycle continues and families stay broken. Then imagine this single momma, walking out of jail to her child and has an advocate by her side who refuses to let her be thrown back to the wolves of the world. Instead, she gives her a safe place to sleep, healthy food, the love of Jesus, and many other things she needs to contribute to her own healing. She isn't even required to find a job right away because the pressures of work can even be too much. After a few months, she begins a new journey in her healing of working to make something for herself, to save money, to providing for herself and her child. A year goes by and she's living in a reduced rent apartment, answers the phone at a front desk, and actually is taking care of her child on her own while going to school part time. Eventually, she graduates with a degree or starts her own business and her family is made whole again. The support and love is always there for her when she needs it and she can now trust that she has it in her to become more. The vision is beautiful and noteworthy and deserves our attention, but it works under the surface with little recognition and even push back from the community for helping a drug user.
The vision of one, easily becomes the vision of many.
Imagine a network of women coming together to help single moms go to school and find jobs, imagine a network of women who are helping single moms coming out of bad situations get back on their feet starting with the birth of their babies, imagine a network of women working together to help make sure those babies have clothing and safe beds to sleep in and car seats too. Imagine all these networks joining together just under the surface and begin to support a community of women that includes anyone from a runaway to a young adult who the foster system let go. Imagine these women pooling resources and creating a network, a net, that hopes to catch those that are falling through the cracks,, to prevent them from becoming part of a broken system.
Titus women do this.
I say all this to say, are you paying attention to "under the surface"? Are you letting the world tell you there is little hope and nothing more you can do? You may not be the one called to start an organization, but you are the one Jesus is calling to do more. Doing more can look like baking 1 extra meal a week to folding and having clothing for children and teens. If you're worried about the state of our economy, our nation, our values, anything, then you need to fix your eyes on Jesus and ask Him what you can do. There is hope, it does't get the attention it deserves. It doesn't even get the help it needs to stay hope..
Our God is raising up an army of women who are everything from prayer warriors to giant killers and we do it in ways that no one will ever see. If you're looking for an organization or foundation to help, here are a few that have amazing plans.
Flourish Foster Care Closet & Support, Inc.
6 Simple Ways to Help Your Community
There are volunteer opportunities everywhere you look. Look into areas that appeal to you and your interests. A few examples are...
2. Support Local Businesses
Often it is the local business, not large corporations who support local charity work. Here are a few ways to help support your local business beyond just shopping with them.
3. Tidy Up
Something as simple as picking up trash on a stroll or planting a few flowers for an elderly neighbor can brighten the community you live in. You an even organize small events that focus on cleaning up water ways, nature paths, and playgrounds.
4. Help Your Neighbors
So often we see a need and we hope that someone else will step up and meet that need, even in our own communities. Charity starts at home and community starts with everyone around you.Take the time to get to know people around you and find out how you can help. You can contribute in many ways from budget planning, to meal preparation or shopping and even just having a chat. You never know how much your time and effort will mean to someone else.
5. Donate Things.
You don't always have to donate money to help organizations. You can also donate your unwanted items that are still in excellent shape. I personally run the organization Flourish which provides infants to youth in foster care with clothing. We love taking in beautiful, like new clothing to help provide for others. Charity and Ministry Thrift Stores appreciate your well meaning donations of goods and the funds often not only help support their ministry, but also helps create jobs for people in your community as well. Even local food banks appreciate contributions year round.
6. Donate Money
We don't always have a lot of money laying around to just give away. However, pooling together resources can create big impacts. Give a little here and there with the help of others can provide in big ways. Saving or rounding up your change is a great way to collect over time and then give back to organizations you want to support. Getting together with friends, coworkers, or church members to collect a little bit can add up to big support for smaller organization that use your little bucks to make big impacts. A twenty dollar gift card can buy new shoes for a child just placed in foster care. Just skipping your favorite chain store coffee shop 1 or 2 times a month and setting that money aside for a bigger purpose, makes a big difference in your community.
Helping the community is good for you and good for those around you. Whether you spend time on a community project, donate unwanted clothing or just tidy up, giving something back can help you too.
I'm Aimee, former Early Childhood Educator and Reading Specialist turned author, speaker, blogger, and mom of 5. This website is meant to inspire & equip parents of little ones to promote early literacy & language development at home. You will also find fun crafts, devotionals, and recipes to explore..
Learn more about me here.