I’m a firm believer that if you clean your bathroom without making it a dance party, you’re doing it wrong.
Getting and staying involved is work, but combining your civic engagement with things you already wanted to do is one way to achieve sustainability.
My mentor almost exclusively partied with purpose. When she wanted to record kazoo covers, she threw an album launch party and sold the CDs for the literacy council.
Pro tip: Her cause also helped convince her homies to provide free recording and graphic design support to make the album happen.
Make your own party with a purpose: if you prefer dirt over dancing you can sign up with a community garden. If you like to run, find races that fundraise for causes you connect with. If you prefer parties for one you can use your hobbies for good.
Sometimes the opportunity to do what you love isn’t available as a pre-packaged “see you Saturday at noon” kind of volunteer shift. And that’s OK–make your engagement authentically yours.
With all due respect, no one would have ever asked Patty to create a kazoo album for their cause. Don’t be discouraged if the path isn’t obvious. Plug into communities with similar goals and you can make it happen.
Sometimes this means mixing in the less glamorous work that’s necessary to make those communities run–but we’re playing the long game here. And the reward at the finish line is an engagement opportunity you can look forward to. Getting involved shouldn’t always feel like adding another chore to your list.
feature image 📸: Andrew Knechel