It’s Not Their Job, It’s Our Job

When I lived in Oregon, I attended a church in downtown Portland.  On a weekly basis, I saw many homeless men and women sitting in doorways with their belongings in shopping carts, panhandling for money to pay for food and other necessities.  It affected me personally, so chose to act.  I often came to church with bags of fruit or sandwiches and handed them out to those that were hungry.  In the winter, I handed out hand warmers, mittens and gloves, and other items.  I even shared my cigarettes with those that asked, providing a small comfort for those that had little comfort.  I couldn’t help all the homeless in the area, but I feel I made the lives of a few dozen people a little better, even if only for a short time.

In December, I saw a post on Facebook from my friend, Kathleen.  It was during a very cold time in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and she noticed that a great deal of homeless people in her area needed warm coats to deal with the weather.  She organized a coat drive in her city and provided warmth to many who needed it.  She saw a need and did something about it.

Close to the Christmas holiday, I received an invitation from my friend, Lauren, to attend a fundraising event.  Her group of friends wanted to raise money for elderly people who live in a nursing home and do not have family to provide for them.  While I could not attend the event, I understand it did well, and she and her friends did something kind for those people.

So often, I hear people complain that more needs to be done to make the lives of others better.  They put the onus of the responsibility on the wealthy, businesses, churches, and the government.  “Someone should do something,” or “They should do something to fix this problem”.  It’s always someone else who should do something.

I disagree.  It’s not someone else’s job to fix the world.  It’s not the government’s job.  It’s not the rich’s job.  It’s not businesses’ job.  It’s not the church’s job.  It’s our job, yours and mine.

We all must take action if we really want to improve the lives of others around us.  We can spend an hour or two a week or month and volunteer with an organization whose mission we can support.  If we can’t do that, then we can financially support organizations which do perform the tasks of caring for those in need.  If we can’t do that, then we can help spread the word about those organizations we support.  There are so many ways that we, as individuals, can act to improve our world.

Just think about it.  If each person in this country of almost 320 million people took action in one way or another, this country, this world, would be a much greater place.

Next time you see a need, don’t wait for someone else to do something.  Do it yourself.




About greatergoodfundraising

Richard Freedlund has been active in the nonprofit sector in a number of ways, both professionally and as a volunteer. He is the founder of Greater Good Fundraising, a business that helps schools and organizations raise money for their programs while accomplishing something positive for the community. After living in Oregon for 27 years, he has returned to his hometown of Rockford, Illinois and hopes to make his mark on the nonprofit sector there. He is the father of a talented jazz musician and the son of philanthropic parents that continue to support multiple causes. To contact Richard for consulting, fundraising, or speaking opportunities, email or reach him on @ggfundraise
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2 Responses to It’s Not Their Job, It’s Our Job

  1. Thanks Richard. You are so right and so is that old saying that is so commonly said nowadays; if we are not a part of the solution, then we are a part of the problem. There is another one that says so much bad stuff happens because good people don’t do anything. At least I think that’s the way it’s said. It burns me up any kind of way it’s said. Thanks again.

  2. Amen Richard – great post!

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