How to Become an Advocate
You see a need in your community or read a story and care about an issue – but you are just one person, how can you make a difference?
Become an advocate for the cause. An advocate is a person who speaks and acts on behalf of themselves or others. It is a beautiful thing in life to be able to take a stand for yourself and for others. Many people (and animals) simply cannot stand up for themselves and it is vital for the existence of humanity for us to rally around them and be their voice.
1. Educate yourself on the issue. Seek out information on organizations that support this cause and learn about them. Visit their websites, follow them on social media, and subscribe to their newsletters.
2. Become a volunteer. Once you have educated yourself on your cause of interest, find out if they are looking for volunteers. If you are unsure, contact them and ask them. Volunteers can include being there in person, writing letters, making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, and any other form of help they might need.
3. Find out what the organization is looking for and promote it on your own social media accounts.
“My local animal shelter needs blankets for pet cages, if you can donate one please contact XYZ”
“[this organization] is helping people in Puerto Rico rebuild after the hurricane, check out XYZ website to learn more”
“[this nursing home] is looking for friendly people to read to the elderly, if you can help please call XYZ”
4. Raise funds for the cause. Hold a yard sale, start a fundraiser, or forgo the birthday party and request donations to an online fundraiser instead, or turn your birthday party into a fundraiser (ask for monetary gifts for your cause rather than for yourself.)
If you love to cook, invite friends for a cookout or dinner party with the expressed intention of raising funds for the cause. (Make sure you tell guests ahead of time this is a fundraising event.)
5. Write an article or editorial for your local newspaper. Document a need through photography.
6. Contact officials that could further your agenda.
7. If you have speaking skills and are willing to donate your time and skill, offer your experience to organizations that might need you.
Always remember that good results may take time. Practice patience and take baby steps to reach your goal. Link up with other like minds and make an effort to speak kindly, clearly, and concisely. We are all stronger when we support each other. Together we can make a difference!
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