Helping the poor is something many of us consider important, and it’s something we could all contribute more. However, learning about poverty, who it effects, and how you can help is one thing; raising enough awareness to inspire other people to get involved is quite another.
Here we’ll take a closer look at poverty. We’ll also get into some truly meaningful ways you can work on raising poverty awareness in your own community and social circles. Which one of the following will you be adding to your agenda?
Leverage your social platforms.
Do you have a dedicated website or blog that gives you access to a large (or even a not-so-large) audience? Are you active on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? Start by using those platforms to inform those who already trust your opinion and are all ears as far as what you have to say.
Make things more interesting (and more shareworthy) by using your site or social media accounts to chronicle a special project. Spend a month (or even a week) eating only what a poverty-stricken person can afford and posting about how it’s going. Start a photo-a-day project that shines a spotlight on a different poverty-related issue in your community. Be creative!
Don’t forget to challenge others to get involved in the same challenges. It’s one of the best ways to help people relate to the poor and take steps to get involved themselves.
Start a book club.
As touched on above, we need to educate ourselves and others in regards to what poverty is, who it effects, and how we can be of the most help before we can end it for good. Why not bring people together to do exactly that?
Start a poverty-focused book club in your local community, school, or place of business and invite people to join. The reading material definitely needs to address poverty or lack in one way or another, but it’s more than okay to be creative. Selections can include anything from regional history books that discuss the plight of the poor in your area to classic novels by authors like John Steinbeck that focuses on poor, migrant, or disenfranchised people.
Start a food drive.
Do you own a local business, attend a local university, or otherwise have a way to rally your community through an establishment you’re associated with? Partner up with other people and start a food or grocery drive. Focus on collecting truly useful items that cover a wide range of food groups and commonly overlooked needs (like feminine hygiene products).
Not only do food drives help the poor in practical ways by providing them with badly needed food and supplies, but they go a long way when it comes to raising awareness. You may even be able to get local media outlets and news stations to help you spread the word.
Participate in a poverty-focused run or walk.
Do a little research about local events and make it a point to participate. Fundraising walks, runs, and sporting events are common options. Some of them may already be focused on helping the poor or raising poverty awareness, in particular, and could really use your help.
Increase the reach of your efforts by getting your family, social group, coworkers, or classmates involved as well. Can’t find an event to participate in that focuses on poverty? Consider getting in touch with members of your city council and seeing what it takes to start your own.
Make it personal.
One of the most erroneous assumptions made about poverty is the people it affects. Unfortunately, poverty extends beyond the homeless people that might come to mind. In fact, the chances are excellent that you know someone living in poverty right now. Numerous poor people work full-time jobs or receive government benefits but still are living in poverty.
Consider those you may already know who might be living in poverty and think of ways you can help. Reach out to those people or families and use your experiences to shine a spotlight on what poverty really is, as well as where it exists. That’s how change starts – one step at a time.