How to give back in your community

Almost every year the newspaper, besides educating us, has an editorial page that strives to offer readers good, solid information and above all, a sense of wonder and adventure — a reason to get up each morning and get out of bed.

That encourages us all. It compels us. The challenge is to go a step further and give something back to the community, to see the community through the eyes of others and make them see it through our eyes. (Also: Inspiration.)

From 5th floor of Dupont Circle’s soon-to-open Four Seasons Hotel (3400 Connecticut Ave. NW), “Discover Your Purpose” is presented by DCPS programs Inclusive Schools, Leadership Institute, Transgender Youth Support Network of Washington and the HCCD Alliance to facilitate discussions with parents, residents and librarians on how to give back in their communities. (Note: this event is for families only.)

A couple of lessons we learned: being proactive and sensitive to people’s needs. Both entities (parent and teacher) keep the community supplied with fresh produce, and other supplies in their school kitchens.

But one lesson we struggled with: trust. Being involved in a community isn’t a confidence-builder or even a comfort (try it!). It’s a commitment. It’s a learning process. This is where we learned to open up. It’s hard to share when there’s so much on your plate, but the benefits are far too great for us to stay silent. So we asked our listeners to put their trust in us by submitting an idea for us. A previous listener, Debra is right: People must empower us; the outcome is ours.

Sometimes, a term written on the whiteboard isn’t enough. What do you mean I can make this happen?

We need help. So gather together small groups to bring it to life. Think about giving things from home and what you can use in your community.

Below are just a few ideas for you to consider:

“Build My Own School”

Herstory Cafe + Partners in Crime

A Family Education Center in our neighborhood

Building a community garden

Making Washington the Prettiest City in America

Making Washington Sound

Food Education for All?

Making Washington Safer

Elementary School Centralization

Commuting Solutions – Intersections

High School Living Wage

Engineering Education for All

Lighting for the Future of DC

Lessons 4 Life

If you have more great ideas you want to share (and can incorporate your school), we’d love to see them. Email our writers at [email protected]

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