With so many young people finding ways to help the world, you no doubt want to become part of this growing inspiration nation. Take some time to develop your ideas into real organizations that make a successful social impact. Can’t wait? There are a lot of ways you can start helping your community today. For example, the demand for food at shelters is great in these tough economic times. Hunger affects 49 million Americans each year, 16 million of whom are children. Why not hold a food drive to collect much-needed cans and boxes of food? Do Something.org suggests these food drive tips:
- Partner up: Ask a local grocery store if you can setup a drive at the store. Have friends give out information about the collection as people go in so they can buy something extra. On the way out, collect the donations.
- Clean Up With Competition: Setup a competition between grades or homerooms and your school (or even sections of your orchestra) to see who can collect the most food. The winner gets bragging rights.
- Host a Movie Night: Charge a food item as the admission price. Take it a step further: ask a local movie theater to host it. Now you can get hundreds of people & hundreds of cans of food!
- Have a Pajama/Dress Down Day: Petition your Principal. Set a goal. (Like, if half of the students bring in food, you get to dress down.)
- Got an Event Coming Up? Holiday party or concert? Big basketball game? Make a food item the price of admission.
- Create a Raffle! Get great prizes donated. Price of a raffle ticket? Duh, an item of food.
- Get Your Teachers Involved: Columbus High School in Iowa did it. They put teachers on the school roof on a drizzly, cold day. (Seriously!) Each donated item added a minute of lock-up time. The result? Over 6 hours on the roof!
- Hot Chocolate Stand: Pick a good location and get fun people to work it. Pick a good time—like right in front of school in the morning or in front of the grocery store on a Saturday. Advertise it with posters a few days before: “Want some hot cocoa? It’ll cost you a can of food!” Give extra marshmallows to people who give more.
- Compete in Your Neighborhood: Pick a weekend day and have groups of friends compete to see how much food they can collect in their neighborhood in 2 hours. You’ll canvas your whole town in no time and probably get a good work-out too.
- Theme Days: Make a theme for each day of the week & tell people to bring in cans that fit the theme, like Protein Monday or Carb Friday.
- Rake Leaves or Shovel Snow: If you happen to live in one of the more brisk states, offer neighbors to help with yard work in exchange for food donations.
Register your food drive and its results at dosomething.org (http://www.dosomething.org/tackle-hunger) by December 25, 2011 and your team might win a scholarship.