1) Write your representatives
Unhappy with our political situation? You don’t have to wait until fall to get involved. Keep the mail coming and let your local representatives know that you are watching and invested in their political activity. Practice democracy and voice your concerns so you can monitor if they are working for the people when November rolls around. So often to representatives’ and senators’ action go unnoticed by the public because we are distracted by the reality-tv show-type drama of the Presidential office, but don’t forget that checks and balances exist for a reason and getting involved and making your voice heard by your representatives will ensure that those checks and balances come into play.
There are tons of opportunities to volunteer, especially in the summer when the weather is friendly for outdoor activities. Organize a beach, park, or trail cleanup to help keep our environment clean and animals safe from ingesting waste.
There are also several camps throughout the US that could use your help! If you’re in the New York State area, Camp Duffield in Buffalo, NY is currently looking for volunteers this summer. From July 1st-8th, Camp Duffield hosts a camp session for developmentally challenged adults and are looking for volunteer counselors. The rest of the summer they host children and are also looking for volunteers for their July 8th-15th session as well. For more info, visit their website here.
Never forget that even in the darkest of times you can be the light in the world and most importantly the light in someone’s day.
3) Support Art
Frustrated with the government’s lack of funding for the arts? Treat yourself to a night of theater, live music, or art and support the arts community at the same time. Art is a reflection of life and a great way to enrich and educate society. This summer in NYC there is so many affordable opportunities to see theater that touches upon important subject matters of today.
Check out Untitled Time: A New Musical directed by Sean O’Shea. The musical advocates for suicide prevention, recognizing signs of depression, and advocates for a creating a kinder, more understanding world. Get showtimes and tickets here!
Check out Live In Theater, a live and improvisational murder mystery. Live in Theater supports a LGBTQ+ centric dialogue which is so necessary when the entertainment industry is still so unequal in terms of representation. Learn more about Live in Theater here.
Have a few extra dollars to spare? There are millions of organizations you can donate to, but here are some notable ones:
A Fresh Chapter is a non-profit geared toward promoting personal growth and development and healing emotional scars after cancer. Started as a blog sharing one woman’s journey of finding new purpose after cancer A Fresh Chapter has evolved into a huge organization that helps men and women around the world take the next step and encourages them to use their experience with cancer as
Hubbard House is a women’s shelter that cares for victim of domestic violence and raises awareness on the topic. You can volunteer at the shelter or donate here.
Want to help the homeless? One man in New York City is working hard to make a difference in the local homeless community. Josh Miller is making survival kits for the homeless in NYC that include essentials like gloves, food, hand sanitizer, and more. He is almost to his fundraising goal! Help him reach it here.
5) Random Acts of Kindness
Never forget that even in the darkest of times you can be the light in the world and most importantly the light in someone’s day. It may feel like we’re in a constant state of tension in the US, but I can see the silver lining because of the kindness of our generation and our drive to stand up against wrongs. There is always something you can do to make the world a better place, even if it’s just sharing a smile or a compliment with a stranger, holding the door for someone, or getting more elaborate with your random acts of kindness and making motivational notes for strangers. You matter. Your actions matter. If we each do something we can have a better tomorrow.