A recent article in the Mukilteo Herald was speaking about the erosion of communities both here and across the nation and the damage that it has caused to many families and individuals. The news report suggested that most of the reason as to why the local community has eroded is down to not enough people contributing. I spoke to someone who certainly bucks this trend, Peter Zieve the owner of Electroimpact and a Mukilteo businessman who has become a great success. Through his sports and business programs Peter is able to help many members of the community here in Seattle and I wanted to pick his brains about what people could do better to help the overall community.
What Are You Good At?
A great suggestion from Peter is to think about what you are good at and then try to create a group or a community project based around that. Whether you set up arts and crafts for handicapped children, a boxing gym for youths or music lessons for the elderly, it can all help and you can use your skills to help other people.
Another fair point which Peter makes is how few of us actually speak up about issues which our communities are facing. There is no reason why you can’t start involving yourself in politics and sending letters to your local senator or governor. It is up to us to highlight the issues and then we should expect action as a result. If however we are not speaking up about issues that are taking place in Mukilteo for example, then it may well be that the politicians aren’t aware of it. We must give government the benefit of the doubt first, and then take things into our own hands.
Even if you do not have a special ability or skill which you can use to support people that need you in the local community, very often simply giving your time is enough. You can volunteer to help out in any projects or programs that exist throughout the city, alternatively you could use your time to spend with the elderly. A recent program which began in Mukilteo was encouraging volunteers to go and visit anyone who is elderly and alone for an hour per week, simply to have a chat and give them some company. Problems in communities are not just about unruly youths, it is about the entire community and through giving up your time you can really help to make a difference.
Another vitally important part of helping in the community is getting others to do the same as you are. This could be family members, friends or strangers, it doesn’t matter who, what matters is that if everyone who is willing to help brings someone with them, in a short amount of time we will have the backing of a huge amount of people.