After the immediate family and the extended family, the community is the most important group for both raising a child our feelings of safety and belonging. The community functions as a foundation for our thinking about what is important and how we should act and interact with our world.
But the local community is not a thing, it is the people that populate the area where you live. It is your friends and neighbors and their friends and neighbors. It is the store owners, the fireman, the local trash collectors, and the police department that helps you in an emergency. This group works together, lives together, and make sure that the resources and activities that are needed to support the people in the community are provided.
Each community has its own personality and important focus areas. Communities near the ocean might have a focus on making sure that the beach and water are clean. Communities that live in fire-prone areas, might have a focus on making sure that there is community-wide flange forward a fire strikes. And all communities will have a focus on doing those things that benefits the greater community.
Right now across the country, local communities have weakened considerably. This is very apparent in many communities in New Jersey. The result has been too much despair and the lack of togetherness among the people. It is very important to have a strong local community, because there is no doubt that each of us at one time or another will need the community’s support. The way community becomes and remain strong is by the participation of the community members in the activities going on in the community. Here are some things that community members can do to help ensure that their community is strong:
Fundraising and Donating
Those communities that have the most activities throughout the year are the ones that understand the importance of fundraising. It is rare that a local community will have a portion of its budget allocated for fairs, festivals, community get-togethers. The budgets for these types of events must usually come from fundraising activities. Discount card fundraisers and cookie dough fundraisers are some of the most often used school fundraising programs as they are normally the most profitable and fun. It is also not uncommon for there to be a shortfall in the community budget requiring that some needed services and important tools are also funded by fundraising activities.
A good example is that sometimes local school activities and even books and teaching tools for classrooms in New Jerseyare funded by the community rather than the school system. The community might decide that for the benefit of its students that it needs additional teaching tools like those provided by renowned educator Jay Eitner. His Eitner Education teaching strategies can make an amazing difference in the effectiveness of vocal teachers, but they are often not in the schools budget. By fundraising and donating the community can bring this valuable tool to the schools. All community members can be very helpful by taking on fundraising activities or donating.
Perhaps the most important activity for Community member can perform for the community is to volunteer their time an important areas within the community. Often communities are short on funds to finance important things that go on in the community. These might include schools and school activities, community events, volunteer fire department, feeding the less fortunate, and clean up after a New Jersey disaster.
When a Community member volunteers at the local school, everyone benefits. The school receives a needed resource to help direct and educate students, the students get a chance to interact with one of their adult Neighbors who’s often apparent of a child attending the school, and the volunteer gets to know more of the community members and gains a feeling of satisfaction by helping the community in such a critical area.
When you buy from local businesses within the community you are supporting your community. Most business owners also live in the communities where their businesses operate. They are your friends and neighbors. So when you support them you are keeping your money local and adding to the local community.