For us Northern Hemispherers, it’s almost Lammas (Lughnasadh), the first of the harvest holidays. In the United States this means that from next week until Thanksgiving, it is the season of remembering the bounty of this year and being grateful for what everyone has. But sometimes, the change of the seasons to the colder months isn’t as welcome for some people who are going through a rough time. It’s the perfect time of year to do something to help your community.
Can-a-Week: Buy a can (or some other nonperishable food item) at the grocery store each week and put it aside to be taken to a local food bank. It’s easy and after a couple of weeks bless the lot and take them in. Considering doing this throughout the year. If you grow a garden, consider also donating some fresh produce, which will be distributed immediately.
Bundle Up: If you know how to knit or crochet, make scarves, hats, and mittens for kids. Talk to some teachers at you local elementary school and have them distribute the warm things to needy children in their classroom.
Trash Collection: Help out Mother Earth. Buy heavy-duty trash bags and gloves. Round up a group of friends and take to the streets, picking up all the trash you see (public areas only you don’t want to trespass). If your area has a recycling system, separate the recyclables from the trash. Best way to get volunteers? Off them hot apple cider, yum!
Give Some Green: If you’re too busy to offer some time, donate money to a charity. I prefer local ones because you get to actually see the results in you community, but it’s preferable to choose a cause close to you heart. If you want to go seasonal, UNICEF Trick-or-Treat boxes (children’s rights) are fantastic and many twenty-somethings have at least one friend participating in Movmber (men’s cancer research). Circle Sanctuary also does quite a bit of charity work, so if you want to donate to a Pagan group consider one of their projects.
Look Inward: EVERYONE has special skills and knowledge they can use to help the community. So put them to good use. Know a million card games? Hang out and entertain seniors at a hospice or nursing home. Been taking 8+ years of dance or instrument lessons? Offer to teach kids for free. Good gardener? Start a community garden.