Eight Suggestions for Reviving a Culture of Service (With a Smirk)
Tomorrow, President Obama will be sworn in for his second term. His inauguration coincides with MLK weekend, traditionally a weekend for citizens to participate in community service. This year is no different, save for the Tea Party’s decision to demonstrate their acute allergy to class by simultaneously holding their Gun Appreciation Day. I am not making that up.
While a single day of service is noble, our communities need citizen involvement far more frequently. That’s why GOOD HQ is urging the community to give 1 percent of their time to service in 2013. If you work 40 hours a week, 1 percent is a mere 20 hours a year. Encourage your friends, family, and coworkers to participate. Start a club, maybe call yourselves “The 1 Percent.” Everyone will love you.
We thought it’d be wise to offer a few early suggestions as to what you can do with your service, so here are a few favorites from our volunteering playbook:
The Bone Thugs — Encourage family and friends to register as bone marrow donors. It’s quick and easy and all done through the mail, leaving time for you to work on improving your puns.
The College Applicant — Start a blood drive for LGBT Eskimos launching a sustainable aquaculture microfinance startup. If no such opportunity exists, just donate blood every two months through the Red Cross.
The McSweeney — Spend a couple hours a month at your local library participating in adult literacy or youth reading programs. Encourage pupils to pen acerbic open letters to inanimate objects or imagined journal entries of long-dead authors.
The Buzzfeed — Volunteer at the ASPCA or local Humane Society for a morning to help out with the animals. Take pictures of the most adorable ones to publish online later with the title 14 Faces That Will Make Your Day AWESOME.
The Na’vi — Rally friends to do an afternoon of beach or park cleanup, trail maintenance, or tree planting. Host a victory BBQ afterward. When friends ask where you got such a great idea, don’t tell them your friend Fern came up with it 17 years ago.
The Whole Foods — Help out at a soup kitchen once a month. Learn to prepare a delicious and healthy minestrone. Realize mid-stir that if rebranded under a popular grocer’s label, your pot of soup could buy a 3 bedroom / 2 bath on an acre lot in a great school district.
The Paul Newman — Organize a food drive of delicious pasta sauces, salad dressings, cereals, snacks, and other non-perishables and canned goods. Deliver your haul to a Food Bank and announce loudly, “What we have here… is a failure.... to comprehensively provide for those who can’t afford the basic staples of a healthy diet.” See yourself out.
The Paul Ryan — Spray water on clean dishes for 90 seconds while your picture is taken then leave to go blast your pecs.*
*Please don’t do this.
Should Society Fund Mindfulness? Putting taxpayer money toward meditation programs? It’s not as crazy as you might think.
Syrian Refugee Women Learn Self-Defense with Predictably Badass Results Two Arab-American women hope to empower Syrian women fleeing their home country’s conflict with physical training and emotional healing.
Achilles’ Password: Online Security’s Susceptible Straggler These new technologies promise to make your vulnerable passwords obsolete.
Guess Which Wealthy Country Can't Guarantee Access to a Basic Human Need? This week, Detroit's neediest had their water turned off. Here's what you can do about it.
If More Couples Smoked Weed, Would There Be Less Domestic Violence? Spouses who smoke weed are less likely to inflict physical, sexual, or psychological harm on their significant other.
Better Living Through Science: Women in STEM A look at pioneering women in fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
How You Type Says a Ton About Your Emotional State This new computer program can see right through your poker face.
Let’s Do More. A Call-to Action by Gap CMO Seth Farbman Data shows that 24% of the 21 million Americans making minimum wage are working in retail, and 64% of those are women.
Meet the Self-Proclaimed President of Colombia’s Hottest Music Trend Champeta started as an outsider Afro-Colombian folk movement. Now it's taking over the country.
Cryptocurrency Regains its Reputation in Paradise Can a renowned tourist hub in Bali become a bitcoin wonderland?
Can a Miracle Fruit Overcome its Unsavory Reputation? Conservationists, farmers, and nutritionists are singing the praises of the breadfruit. If only it didn't taste so bad.
New App Could Tackle Hunger, Will Help You Find a Good Deal PareUp wants to connect food purveyors to thrifty consumers looking to score deals on unused, but still edible, items.