7 New Year’s Resolutions for a Better Community

By United Way of King County, on January 8, 2019 | In Volunteering

You may be asking yourself, where did 2018 go? I can’t answer that for you (mostly because I’m still trying to figure it out myself), but many of us are glad it’s behind us. Let’s get on our New Year’s resolutions.

Resolutions are often about self-improvement. Even if something along the lines of “get involved in the community” makes your list, the underlying thread of that is still improving the person who you are. It’s sort of like the wikipedia “if everyone on the site gave $3” thing. If every single person became a kind individual who helped others, our world would be one heck of a better place.

Who knows. You might even start ending poverty like your high school aspirations foretold.

Here are some ideas to help get you on the right track:

  1. Do something about whatever makes you angry. What’s the one thing that gets under your skin? What do you complain about that the people around you are tired of hearing? I know it’s hard to pick just one. But narrow it down, people. Then make it your resolution to figure out what you can do about it. Consult the Google. Ask on your neighborhood Facebook page for local ways to lend a hand. Tell yourself to just start somewhere.
  2. Learn and learn some more. Read about poverty programs you can support. Watch The Florida Project or another documentary on poverty. Read Evicted or another one of these top books on poverty.
  3. Visit a new town or neighborhood. Find the east edge of King County. Take a ferry. Visit your old stomping grounds to see what’s changed, or how much you’ve changed. The point is to experience the new. It might not be a good new. There might be a few tents that weren’t there before. Poverty might reach farther than you thought.
  4. Make it a family thing. Make your world better together.
  5. Introduce yourself. That awkward moment when you accidentally make eye contact with someone at the store, library, bus stop, etc. When you’re tempted to glance away, try smiling. Say hello or even get crazy and introduce yourself. You don’t have to become best friends. But you might feel your heart grow three sizes. And you might find your faith in humanity restored in a small way.
  6. Schedule acts of kindness. Ever had your coffee paid for by the person in front of you? That was awesome. Always see people struggling through the winter rain, but never have anything to offer? Put together some car kits with rain ponchos, hand warmers and coffee cards, so you’re all ready. Plan acts of kindness into your routine so that they’re no longer random. Small or large, if you make them purposeful, you’ll gain a lift in your spirits and you’ll make someone’s day and maybe restore their faith in humanity. See where we’re going here? Resolutions FTW.
  7. Volunteer. Uh oh, they’re asking me to do real stuff now…  This one is a no-brainer for both being a better person and helping your community.Our MLK Day of Service is right around the corner. Sign up to march and volunteer! If you’re under 40, join our Emerging Leaders networking group. They volunteer all the time to support poverty work, and they learn more about what they can do from speakers series events and happy hour talks.We have a ton of volunteer projects of all sizes, neighborhoods and types. Find one that works for you. And make your resolution to better yourself and your community at the same time.


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