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    Posted on Nov 15, 2016

    Here's A List To Empower You To Make A Direct Impact In Your Community Right Now

    Get involved! There are so many ways to take action.

    Here is a starter list of resources for any American who wants to make a positive impact in their community. Take comfort in the fact that you can start right now.

    Volunteer Match:

    volunteermatch.org

    If you want to get involved and take some action in your community, but don't know where to start, volunteermatch.com makes it easy. It lets you search local volunteer opportunities based on the issues and causes you care most about. With over 110,000 participating organizations and more than 11.5 million volunteers matched, you should be able to find the volunteer opportunity that inspires you to make an impact in your community.

    Idealist:

    idealist.org

    Idealist.org's mission is "to close the gap between intention and action by connecting people, organizations, ideas, and resources." You can find ways to get involved in ongoing volunteer projects and organizations, one-time actions, and meet like-minded people by taking part in various workshops, fundraisers, and community gatherings. The site also offers a comprehensive job listing for anyone looking for more civic-minded employment opportunities.

    Volunteer with our National Parks Service:

    volunteer.gov

    For those who might be more interested in preserving America's natural and cultural resources, check out volunteer.gov for opportunities to get involved.

    Feeding America:

    feedingamerica.org

    Hunger is an ongoing struggle for many Americans. Feedingamerica.org is a great resource for finding your local food bank for donations, volunteer opportunities, and other ways to take action on a local or national level.

    American Civil Liberties Union:

    aclu.org

    The ACLU has a mission to "defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States." Now is the time to stand up for your rights and the rights of others by learning how to take action, or donating what you can.

    The USO:

    theuso / Via instagram.com

    Everything you love about America exists because of the immense sacrifices made by the brave men and women of the United States military. The USO is the nation's leading organization to serve and support members of America's armed forces. Visit their website to learn how you can give back to those who have given everything for their country.

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

    suicidepreventionlifeline.org

    The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is an invaluable resource for any individual who is struggling with suicidal thoughts and there are always opportunities for those who are willing and able to help. Visit the website to find out how you can get involved in spreading the word, fundraising, or even being trained to be a hotline volunteer.

    Get involved with your local LGBTQ+ Centers:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    Worried about LGBTQ rights in the wake of the recent election? Now is the time to take action in support of the LGBTQ community. Center Link is a great national resource to connect you with your local LGBTQ centers whether you are a member of the community or an ally — there are many ways to get involved.

    Reach out to local shelters for women:

    womenshelters.org

    Womenshelters.org is a national database of shelters for women. You can find local shelters in your area to contact to find out how you can be of help with the work that they do, or to donate money, clothing, food, toiletries, or other needed items.

    The Trevor Project:

    thetrevorproject.org

    The Trevor Project is a leading national organization for crisis prevention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ young people aged 13-24. Find out how you can get involved with this life-saving organization through volunteerism or financial support.

    Best Buddies:

    bestbuddies.org

    Best Buddies is an international organization that utilizes a global volunteer network to foster one-to-one friendships as well as integrated employment opportunities and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Contact your local chapter for opportunities to be a volunteer or advocate for this global community.

    Make-A-Wish Foundation:

    wish.org

    The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Volunteer action is the bread and butter of this life-changing organization, from office support and fundraising, to volunteer wish granters, who actually work directly with wish kids and their families to bring their most heartfelt wishes to life. If you're looking for a way to do something positive and feel good about humanity, get involved and learn more about the impact that these wishes have on the children they serve and their families.

    Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America:

    bbbs.org

    For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been matching adult volunteers, or "Bigs," with children (aka "Littles") ages 6-18 to develop positive mentoring relationships that change their lives (on both ends) for the better. Whether you have the time and ability to commit to becoming a "Big," or want to make a donation, you can have a direct impact on the lives of underserved youth in our country.

    National Coailtion Against Domestic Violence:

    ncadv.org

    You can support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault with a donation to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Your donations not only support survivors, they help the organization in their efforts to "educate about domestic violence, support and expand programming that empowers victims and survivors of domestic violence, create and influence federal legislation impacting domestic violence victims and their family, and advocate for zero tolerance of domestic violence."

    Planned Parenthood:

    plannedparenthood.org

    Turning your profile picture pink and declaring that you "Stand with Planned Parenthood" is a great start if you're ready and willing to stand up and take some action. You can do that by finding your local chapter, learning about volunteer opportunities, and contributing anything you can. Everything you need to know to get involved can be found at Plannedparenthood.org.

    Lambda Legal:

    lambdalegal.org

    Lamdba Legal is the oldest and largest national legal resource dedicated to the full recognition of civil rights of of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through legal defense and public policy work. The organization receives no government funding and provides their clients legal representation and advocacy with no charge. Your donations and/or volunteer involvement can make an enormous impact on a national level.

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