This guest post was written by Chris Marlow.
Hopefully, you want to make the world a better place. But, the more you watch the news and read your Facebook feed, the more overwhelming the problems that face our society can feel. How does one know where to even start?
In my role as Founder and CEO of Help One Now, I’ve had the opportunity to study this challenge. Here are six easy but powerful steps you can take to follow your passions and make a difference!
- Do Something Rather Than Nothing
My friend Alan once noted that Christians have historically been a people of action. But, when we sacrifice movement and activity for social media rants or comfortable church-service experiences, we miss out on having a real impact in the world. We must have the conviction to take an action; we must do something.
- Start Small
Changing the world doesn’t usually mean moving to Africa. Instead, take a small step in the direction of action and justice-seeking. At Help One Now, we have many small, easy ways for people to get involved and support work that they care about. You could throw a Garage Sale 4 Orphans or sponsor a child. For you, it could be as easy as passionately advocating on behalf of issues that you care about. Over time, you will find yourself in a position to make a greater impact, but you can’t let the magnitude of the problem prevent you from taking that first step.
- Follow Your Passions
What motivates you? What keeps you up at night? What do you love to do? Try to connect your passions in life with Doing Good. If you love education, get involved with an educational non-profit. If you love job creation or healthcare, find simple ways to get involved with causes that are trying to solve those problems. If you love fashion, get involved with artisan groups. You can define and shape how you get involved and take action.
- Use Your Gifts
Most people nowadays want to feel connected and involved; they want to do more than just write checks. So, what are you good at? How can you use your skills and talents to volunteer at an organization that you’re passionate to help?
For example, at Help One Now, we have everyone from students to teachers and dentists to plumbers involved. Some of our teachers have banded together to do teacher training at a few of the schools in our communities. They’re using their specific gifts and talents to improve the lives of students around the world.
- Build Relationships
I’m a big fan of commitment. Popping into a country, doing a service project, and then popping out will not make the impact necessary to see lasting change. On the other hand, taking the time to listen to the stories of the people we’re serving creates dignity and connectedness.
Take my friend Korie and her family. They have been involved with a group of kids in the Dominican Republic for 10 years. They know these kids intimately; they know their homes and dreams and they care for them as if they were their own. The children have the security that Korie and her family are truly invested in their lives.
- Stick With It
I’ve realized that those who are truly changing the world on both a small and large scale do hard work for a long time. These people chose the path filled with commitment, they have courage to stay the course and not be fickle, and they desire to dig deep and see real progress.
It takes hard work, focus, and discipline, but when you partner with key causes and key people and work together for years, you will see what few ever get to see — real progress!
No matter how overwhelming the issues seem to be, these steps will give you direction and help you focus your energy and efforts in ways that will truly matter. Now go out there and make a difference. I’m rooting for you!
Editor’s Note: There are several ways to keep up with Chris, learn about Help One Now, and support their meaningful and impactful work: