How you can be a hero in your community
As the world battles its greatest challenges yet, many people have begun to feel helpless and as though they can’t make a tangible difference. Although one person can’t help everyone, when we are united we stand a chance. Springbok Rugby Captain Siya Kolisi and his wife Rachel built the Kolisi Foundation on this belief. “Our motto, remember the one, one by one, drives our daily actions,” says the Kolisi Foundation. “It is a reminder not to get overwhelmed by the size and scope of your community’s problems, but instead, focus on the one thing you can do.” With a little bit of courage and a lot of heart, you too can develop lasting change in your community. Not sure where to start? Here’s the Kolisi Foundation’s guide to making a difference:
Photo credit: Gary van Wyk, Black Bean Productions
Do some research: Before you can help your community, you should take time to do a bit of research and identify the needs of your community.
Acknowledge: We are all “busy”, but sometimes it is important to not always be rushed. Make it a priority to acknowledge people and have conversations with individuals at the robots or streets. Everyone has a unique story to share; remember to stop and listen.
Learn: Find out as much as you can about local NPOs and charities. Visit their web pages, find out what they do, who they serve, why they do it, how they are funded, and what types of volunteer opportunities they have available.
Volunteer: Volunteer for a group that does work you admire. Identify what you are passionate about and find an organisation to serve with your time, skill-set or connections. We all have something to bring to the table.
Commit: It is essential to show your continuous support and build relationships. Try to commit to an organisation and not just do something once-off for a school project or a Mandela Day.
Donate: If you can donate financially, monetary donations equip NPO’s to utilise funds where it’s most needed. It is not about the amount; small gestures together are impactful.
Spread the word: We live in a day and age where most of us have the power of technology at our fingertips. Amplify the work of NPO’s on your social networks and spread the news on your channels. Identify where NPOs need help, volunteers or some form of assistance and use your platform.
Add to your cart: Community kitchens play a valuable part in so many communities. They support many with often the only meal they receive daily. Find out if there is a community kitchen in your area and check in on what items they use daily. Add that to your chart when doing your weekly grocery shopping.
Say hello: Check on neighbours and family members, especially those who live alone, are elderly, have health or mobility issues or are caring for children.
Check your closet: Especially with the winter creeping in. Join existing initiatives, such as the blanket drive. Find a local NPO that needs clothing items or a soup kitchen that requires some additional utensils or pots.
Get out of your comfort zone: It’s time for us to take one step out of our comfortable realities and find out who is on the other side. Now more than ever is the best time to start a new normal. Let us not only dream about it but also let’s do it, TOGETHER!
To find out more about the Kolisi Foundation and how you can be a part of their life-changing organisation, visit their website or read their organisation’s awe-inspiring feature story over on our blog.