Connecting to community can be difficult. It’s not like college where you are constantly surrounded by people in your social circle and in my opinion still living in a bubble. A plethora of hand lending opportunities we’re always encircled around me in college, all I had to do was sign up right there, and remember to show up. Anything from philanthropy work with my sorority, church events, hearing of a volunteer opp from a friend, or tabling, sign me up and give me the free t-shirt (S/O @NoraMcgowan).
But as I get older I feel like it’s harder to connect with community.
“Love is the essential existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth.” – Marianne Williamson
Community: I’m always looking for ways to improve and interact with my community. Abroad or in my hometown, there is always ways to BE the positive impact. I looked out for ways to connect to community when living in Santiago, I joined FB Groups, a expat Meet-up group, Spanish school functions, trips and outings with friends. One of my goals in moving to Tampa was to truly appreciate community. I wanted to do more for the people I share my city with, and help out local organizations.
Once a week on my morning runs around the island I would pick up trash.. this was a fun way to clean up the place I call home, (dedicating just once a week was fair for myself). I hope to continue this one. I volunteered for a number of different organizations this month. The Moffitt Cancer Center, the Children’s Cancer Center, and I also fed the homeless at my church (HPUMC). To be more specific I went around and filled their coffee cups, and offered creamer and sugar. I could not believe the amount of sugar these people put in their cups!! They were all v’friendly, but smelled. I hope to help out every first Sunday of the month because I met some incredible people this day.. both sides of the operation.
I take advantage of all my community activities through the Tampa Partnership email blast. Sign up here! I try to attend the free community yoga in Curtis Hixon Park every Sunday afternoon, it recharges my soul and prepares me mentally for the week ahead.
Say Hi: It’s as easy as that! Always say hi and if acceptable strike up a friendly convo. It could get you free Starbucks ;)
One funny Hi: One night while out on my porch I said hi to my neighbor, whom I’ve only chatted with during my move a few months prior. He’s a pretty reserved guy and quiet so never pry too much. A few moments later he appeared again and was carrying something toward me. He was holding some honey from his family’s farm. That night on my porch, I learned about his love for horses, the best views in Montana, and a few tidbits about 90’s bands I had never heard of. Oh and honey.
Reconnect: This one is a repeat from one of my old months – Love . I sent some handmade cards to some of my friends, and I actually texted people back (still like 100 unread text but it’s straight – yall know CUR LOVES YA).
What I do know from this month: Life is better when you share it to the world… and its even sweeter when you share it with the community. I met some awesome people this month I would have never met had I not signed up to volunteer.