Reach Out

Posted on June 1, 2007. Filed under: Civil Society, Nonprofit, Social Change |

Reach out to your neighbor today. Reaching out to someone may just change their day for the better. Reaching out may also inspire them to reach out to someone else, creating a culture of neighboring.

The Points of Light Foundation is a strong supporter of the neighboring concept. The idea of neighbors helping neighbors is a new way for nonprofits to really increase positive social change within a community. Points of Light stresses the need for organizations to not just drop in and give money but to stay and help out, get to know the neighbors, find out what the community really needs, and inspire the community members to help each other out.

This concept really reminds me of the Pay it Forward initiative. If someone helps you, then you should help someone else and they help some else and so on… Its like what happens in the movie, it may be an idealistic world and only happen in a vacuum, but I believe the effort to start it will at least help a few.

Neighboring is a great concept that I think a lot of nonprofits and philanthropists need to pay attention to. I truly do think that for problems like hunger and homelessness to be turned to the positive neighbors and communities have to help each other out from the inside.

Hubert H. Humphrey says it best “The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor.”  It really is going to take a community to positively affect the social problems our country and really the world is facing today.  We all have to work together and at a lower level, one person or government program cannot save the world if they don’t understand the position, opinions, character of those they are helping.  


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