When was the last time you talked to or even saw your neighbors? In our typical, activity-filled lives, we have the tendency to push the remote, pull into the garage, lower the door, and rarely set foot outside again until fetching the morning paper. While the kids may roam and play together, we are often clueless as to the lives and needs of those around us.

With our continued national economic woes, more and more families are living in poverty or at the brink of hunger. With depleted savings and souring credit card debt, many families are one paycheck away from needing assistance. After hurricanes and tornadoes, communities and organizations mobilize to meet the practical needs of those affected by the natural disasters. But, how many are slipping through the cracks in our own neighborhoods every day? How can we be like a tree in 2012 and offer shelter to those in need?

Are there any food banks, soup kitchens, or homeless shelters in your town? Do they need donations or volunteers? Could you organize a food drive or fundraising event? If you know of a family in need, what’s stopping you from leaving a bag of groceries outside their door? Our church has a “Care Can” to collect spare change and uses that money to help pay the bills for member families in crisis.

Here’s another way to make a difference. Convoy of Hope has launched a two-year, fifty state Community Outreach Tour. With the help of 50,000 volunteers and 5,000 churches, they are hosting events to link families with the resources and support they need. In addition to bulging bags of groceries, these completely free outreaches offer haircuts, family portraits, health and job fairs,  entertainment, and loads of fun for the kids. And this amazing organization also mobilizes with disaster response teams. Check out their website for a schedule of events and ways to volunteer. (They’ll be in my area in August!)

Imagine if we all made a difference in our own communities? All of America would be impacted.

What about you? Has a natural disaster impacted your community? Are there families in need around you? What have you done to make a difference?

Reaching America
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