By: Rachel Brown
We can’t believe it’s August! Summer is flying by, but there’s still plenty of time before Labor Day Weekend is upon us. This season is one for rest, relaxation, and exploration, certainly, but it’s also a good time to look outside ourselves and find ways to serve others. We’ve rounded up several ways that you can get busy serving, and we’d love to hear if you have any ideas to add to the mix!
Participate in a Service Trip
If you’ve got a few vacation days to spare, consider researching opportunities to participate in some kind of service trip, whether it’s an international trip that lasts for a week or a weekend project that is closer to home. Connect with a cause that’s meaningful to you, ensuring that you avoid the negative aspects of voluntourism by committing to help with a service project that the non-profit or mission organization really needs (i.e. the construction of a new building that will benefit the population served or organizing a clothing drive for displaced refugees).
Help Out a Neighbor
Whether your next-door neighbor is an elderly adult in need of some help with yard work or a young family who could use a free babysitter, scope out ways to get involved just outside your doorstep. The first step to take is to cultivate relationships with those who live close in proximity to you, whether you’re in an apartment complex or a house. Introduce yourself by bringing over baked goods, or simply reach out with a handshake and an exchange of names. Once you get to know your neighbors better, assess what needs they may have and offer to help in whatever capacity seems appropriate.
Host a Summery Fundraiser
Summer is the perfect time to host get-togethers, so why not put a spin on a fun evening with friends by hosting a party to benefit a cause you love? Send out invitations online and let people know in advance that the event is meant to raise funds for a worthy cause, either by encouraging guests to bring donated items or a few dollars (suggest a specific amount so they know whether you’re looking for $5 per person or $20 per person, and ensure that you communicate clearly what the money is for). Provide snacks, sips, great music, and a fun ambiance, and, if you’re so inclined, take a few minutes to share a bit about the cause you’re supporting and why it means so much to you.
Photo Cred: Arthur Poulin
Rachel is the Director of Development for Touch A Life, an organization committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of children who have been exploited and trafficked in West Africa and Southeast Asia. Though she loves working in the non-profit world, Rachel has always been passionate about writing, pursuing opportunities to put pen to paper outside of her day job. Aside from writing for Darling Magazine, she maintains a personal blog, Coffee & Tacos, where she connects with others through food, travel, faith & community. Rachel lives in Dallas, TX, with her husband, their adorably large English mastiff, and a new baby girl, Ruby.