Social issues are increasing in Texas, and your local community needs your help more than ever. A study by Houston-based Episcopal Health Foundation revealed that the majority of locals want the state to prioritize pressing issues such as food insecurity, transportation, unemployment, and pollution. These social and economic conditions are a significant concern among residents, especially because marginalized communities in Houston are barely recovering from the health and financial crises of the past two years.
Due to the scale of the social issues within the area, residents will need all the help they can get to bounce back. So if you’re interested in making a difference in the greater Houston community, here’s what you can do:
Volunteer in your local community
You can transform people’s lives during your free time by joining local volunteer programs. Plenty of agencies are in need of volunteers, and you’re more than likely to find one aligned with your concerns and your schedule.
In fact, our article on ‘Preparing for Volunteer Engagement’ highlights that agencies are implementing virtual programs that make it easier for people to lend their talents and their time remotely. Agencies are also enforcing new policies and processes, which allow volunteers to work seamlessly and safely on-site. You can easily find ways to contribute to programs and engage with local communities through these flexible setups.
Pick a career that can transform your community
Do you think that social work is your life’s purpose? You can make a tremendous difference in your community and even in wider circles by pursuing a career focusing on social responsibility, such as serving in a nonprofit organization or as a humanitarian aid worker.
A career guide for humanitarian aid workers by Maryville University cites that these professionals help in addressing climate change, economic crises, health issues, and natural disasters in communities. These workers need specialized skills and tools to teach communities how to mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover from various crises, like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and the recent water shortage.
Take part in corporate volunteer programs
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You can also help the Houston community through your career by joining your company’s volunteer programs.
These programs are a win-win situation for employees because you get to experience several mind and body benefits while helping out people in need. A study from Carnegie Mellon University highlighted that older adults who volunteer regularly are less likely to develop high blood pressure. On top of that, volunteering also boosts employees’ morale and improves the atmosphere in the workforce.
Raise awareness regarding social issues
You don’t need much time and money to raise awareness regarding the critical concerns within your community.
Given that there are many users on social media platforms, University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers discovered that Facebook and other sites are effective in increasing people’s knowledge of key issues. These platforms make it easy to spread new information and facilitate learning. Thus, you can use these sites to explain the problems within your community and point out the different strategies people can use to help.
Your contribution will significantly help local communities, whether you commit to a big sacrifice or a small effort. So if you think you’re ready to make a change, check out our programs at Volunteer Houston.