“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Find Your People
Humans were never meant to be alone, exist alone, suffer alone, or rejoice alone. Since the beginning, mankind has been gathering in groups – finding our tribes, if you will – and creating community. This community serves many functions, not the least of which being a guide and set standard in our behavior and beliefs, and a group to fall back on when everything else seems to be in chaos or against us. Churches are an immediate and prevalent example, but communities can come in many formats and engage you in almost any area of interest.
We don’t exist inside a vacuum or bubble, and as voting and tax-paying Americans the power lies with us in how our neighborhoods, towns, and cities look, feel, develop, and provide. We are not powerless here and, while we may not agree with or want to participate in everything going on in our big, city communities, we can certainly be a part of the smaller things we do want to see grow and be better.
If you haven’t noticed lately, our world is crazy and it’s really easy to feel like an outsider, but there are places (and people) for you! The key is finding the sub-communities in your area that reflect your values and goals.
The Importance of Community Involvement
People and community are not mutually exclusive concepts; people are community and community is people. That means that you play an important role in whatever community you join. And when we talk about community we’re not just talking about cities or countries but also (and perhaps more importantly) sewing groups, gardening societies, homeschool co-ops, and book clubs. These are the places where you go to find your people; the ones who have similar interests, values, goals, and beliefs. The people who will lift you up and provide a strong safety net when you fall.
As Dr. Jordan Peterson says: “Make friends with people who want the best for you.”
Being a part of a community is more than just having something to do on a Wednesday night or Sunday morning, it’s a place where those who want you to succeed and be a happy, healthy person will make sure you are always headed in that direction. Surround yourself with those people, and you’ll do just fine.
Collaborate, Inspire, and Learn
As seemingly passive as some groups and clubs may seem, your involvement in them can make waves. Not only will you establish a sense of belonging for yourself, but you might just inspire others to leave their couches and join. When people show that they are interested in something, it proves that that thing is important to the fabric of that time and place. You’ll lead by example and action as your children grow up, and you’ll prove that an engaged community is a strong one that can get stuff done when it comes to it and emboldens others to take action regarding the things they love and hold dear.
Now, again, there is nothing that says your community engagement has to look like you running for governor. There is great power in finding a small group of like-minded individuals who all love to write short stories and gather to do so on a Tuesday night, or enjoy crocheting but aren’t necessarily good at it. The point is to find a group of people and build something together – even if what is built is a group of friends. Your collaboration will add a thriving piece to your town or neighborhood, you might learn a new skill, or even enact change on a larger scale. The point is, find your people and get involved in a community!
How to Get Involved
Believe it or not, there is probably already an established group you can jump into. It might take a little bit of looking, but they’re there.
Politics is not everybody’s favorite thing in the world, but there are still small ways to get involved. As we’ve learned, every part of the political sphere is incredibly important, so even the smallest part can make a big difference. Some places where your skills might be needed:
- Run for your local school board, attend meetings, and volunteer
- Attend local city council meetings or volunteer for events
- Join your local political party groups, attend meetings, and volunteer for candidates
There are plenty of clubs, it just might take a bit to find them. Keep an eye out on local neighborhood social media groups and government websites for any local clubs advertising their meetings. Some well-established clubs are:
- Rotary Club – “Rotary International is a humanitarian service organization which brings together business and professional leaders in order to provide community service, promote integrity, and advance goodwill, peace, and understanding in the world. It is a non-political and non-religious organization.”
- Local Heritage or Historical Society – Most areas have a heritage or historical society that strives to preserve, research, and educate the general public about the town or city’s history. These groups often host events, have meetings, field trips, and more! Anyone who is interested in history will love the volunteer opportunities at their local historical society.
- National Garden Club – The National Garden Club is a “non-profit community organization united by an inherent love of gardening.” They have chapters all over the U.S. and offer a wide range of activities, educational opportunities, and more!
Hobby Clubs/Special Interest:
This is your chance to learn a new skill! Most clubs and groups welcome beginners and will take you under their wing as you explore something new and different, expanding your horizons and picking up a new hobby. These groups often have a great social as well as learning aspect and can be a great way to gather, indulge in a hobby, learn about others’ views, and discuss happenings in your wider community. Check out your library site, other community pages, newspaper classifieds, and Facebook groups to find a club that involves an area of interest for you.
- Knitting or crocheting groups
- Local book clubs
- Needlepoint groups
- Cooking/Canning group
- Gun Club/Shooting Team (clubs that rely on policy)
- Quilting club
- Brewery, winery, or distillery tour groups
- Bus tour groups
- History buff groups
- Sailing, yachting, canoeing, or kayaking clubs
- Fishing clubs
- Plant exchanges
- Technology clubs
Almost all non-profit organizations are always on the lookout for volunteers. Find something you are passionate about and the organization that does this work in your community and reach out to them!
- Donation centers
- Homeless shelter
- Pet shelter
- Women’s or men’s shelters
- Women’s health clinics
- Habitat for Humanity
- Tutoring centers
If you are part of a religious organization you know that there are always social and volunteer opportunities. If your church or temple community does not already have events and gatherings, start one! Some things that you can do within your religious community:
- Philanthropic/donation drives and events
- Bible studies
- Community yard sale
- Chicken BBQ
- Ladies nights out
- Project Linus blanket making
- Saturday morning community brunch
- Guest speakers
- Movie nights
- Family nights with games and pot-luck dinner
Civic Organizations & Veterans Groups:
There are a few established organizations for veterans and anyone dedicated to the betterment of America. These are often strong groups with well-established missions.
- Elks – Visit their site to learn more.
- Eagles Club – Visit their site to learn more.
- American Legion – Visit their site to learn more.
Start Your Own Group!
Do you have a special hobby? Maybe more people would be interested in learning about it from you! Your group can start with just two people with a shared interest, so don’t worry about finding a huge group of people right from the start. Just get involved!
Is there a problem in your local community that you have a solution for? Is there something you love to do that you know others love to do as well? Want to find a supportive community? Invite others to join you and find your people!
Let us know what groups you’re part of or want to start by tagging us in your Instagram stories. Join our AmericanMom community and find your tribe.