What is Happening to the World This Year?!?!
And How Can I Stop It From Getting Worse?
2020 isn’t even half over and many of us are asking the question…What else is going to go wrong? It’s been a crazy year so far, and I obviously don’t mean that in a good way. There were the bush fires in Australia that destroyed tens of millions of acres and claimed the lives of an estimated billion animals. Then came the Coronavirus, followed by the quarantine that drove most of us to the brink of insanity. I mean, even now, how weird is it that we live in a society where everyone is walking around in masks and gloves? We lost the great Kobe Bryant. Then, let’s not forget about the Trump impeachment, and of course, most recently, the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The public outcry was swift and fierce. No one wants to believe we live in a society where cops are still killing unarmed black men in the streets.
So where does all of this bad news leave us? We have all enjoyed John Krasinski’s SGN (Some Good News), but realistically, we need to take action. Between global warming, natural disasters, police brutality, and pandemics, it’s not enough to just sit back and complain or watch these disasters unfold on YouTube.
We need to do something to turn this world around!
There are volunteer opportunities for young people who want to take action to make the world a better place and say, “Enough is enough” when it comes to racism, intolerance, corruption, destruction of the environment, and more.
Here are 10 Ways You Can Affect Change in the World
1. SAVE THE ANIMALS: There are many ways to help animals either locally or globally. If you want to help animals in your area, you can volunteer at your local humane society, dog or cat shelter, or offer to walk an elderly neighbor’s dog. You can join an organization like PETA and spread awareness of animal abuse and injustice in your city. On a larger level, you can look online by animal type (turtles, tigers, elephants, ocean life in general, animals of the rainforest, etc.) and find ways to donate your time and money towards the causes that strive to protect them.
2. HELP YOUR COMMUNITY: You can clean up litter, volunteer for a local charity like the American Red Cross in your town, visit kids in the hospital and play music or read to them, make masks to donate to hospitals, serve at a food bank, donate unused items to Goodwill, or host a community yard sale with all proceeds going toward a local cause.
3. SAVE THE OCEANS: There are tons of volunteer opportunities to save the ocean. You can do a quick online search and see which one fits your schedule the best. Almost 18 billion pounds of plastic alone is dumped into the oceans each year. Something has to be done!
4. SLOW DOWN CLIMATE CHANGE: If you want to slow climate change, you can do the whole reduce, reuse, recycle bit. Anything helps. You could become a vegetarian. You could shop local, drive an electric car, or conserve electricity at your house. But the truth is, laws need to change because this is a HUGE issue that is going to take a lot more than households cutting down on consumption. Many of the top-producing companies in the world are polluting the planet in ways that should be illegal. Write to your local and government lawmakers, join an environmental organization, and get your voice out there.
5. BE A BUDDY TO A YOUNGER KID: You likely have a decent family (even if they annoy you most of the time), plenty of food, access to a good education, and a safe neighborhood to call home. Many kids right here in America do not. Join a big brother/big sister organization or start volunteering to mentor or tutor younger kids in your school district. There is no real way to measure how many lives you can change just by helping one young person learn to believe in himself (or herself).
6. HELP THE ELDERLY: Whether it’s an organization like Meals on Wheels or just offering to mow an elderly neighbor’s grass, there are lots of ways to invest in a senior’s life. So many people write off older members of society as “washed up” or “ancient,” but they have so much to teach us. They’ve seen things that happened in history before we were ever even born. Look for ways in your neighborhood or city to befriend some older people, providing a helping hand to them after all they’ve contributed to society in their lifetime.
7. HOMELESS OUTREACH: Every city has food banks, homeless shelters, and charities and churches that do homeless outreach. Join one of them and you’ll see how great it feels to provide gloves, socks, or a hot meal to someone on the street. It’s easy to forget how good we have it in our warm, cushy homes, but many, many people literally live and die on the city streets across the country.
8. FIGHT INJUSTICE: What happened to George Floyd shook the nation, and rightfully so. We’ve all been outraged, hurt, and disgusted by what happened. But now let’s take it a step further and look for ways to fight racism, police brutality, and other forms of injustice. The only way to stop these things from happening is to get our voices heard, and push lawmakers to create stricter laws and punishment for anyone who blatantly disregards a fellow human in any way.
9. FIGHT FOR EQUALITY: Join an organization that fights for equal rights for every human. Whether your interest lies in racial equality, LGBTQ rights, religious freedoms, or something else, this is the perfect time to make your voice heard. We are the future, so let’s make the world sit up and listen to what we have to say!
10. MEDICAL VOLUNTEERISM: Become a medical volunteer in a hospital, dental office, or clinic. If you can’t do that right now, consider donating blood. Every 2 seconds, someone needs blood! Millions of lives are saved because of the annual donations from people just like you.
Check out some of these websites to get your mental wheels turning on where you can plug in to make significant changes in the world around you!