If no man is an island, no household is either.
And when tragedy strikes a community, there’s no place you can watch people come together faster than in the state of Texas. But while we’re always quick to react in the lone star state, we could all stand to be proactive within our neighborhoods as well! So what can we do to make sure we’re all standing together as best as we can? Let’s start with the basics:
Any professional vampire…er, phlebotomist, will tell you—the need for blood never stops! Between household accidents, malicious acts of violence, and Texas mosquitoes, our blood banks can’t afford to have the coffers run dry! Remember, as long as you’re eligible, you can donate blood every six weeks! Set a reminder in your phone and make sure you’re going to your nearest center on a regular basis. Better yet, make a game of it with your neighbors, coworkers, church family and more! When your community is competing to do the most good, everybody wins. And hey, you might feel a bit woozy afterwards, but you’ll be doing good to the last drop!
You remember libraries, right? Those places where all the Kindles are analog, like in that movie with Molly Ringwald and Emilio Estevez? Jokes aside, libraries are still hotbeds of great community activity and education. And on the point of tragic events specifically, many areas offer classes on grief management, as well as books on the same subject! Even if nothing recent has been effecting your area, and hopefully never will, it never hurts to tune in to how sudden sadness can strike! Forewarned is always forearmed, so support your libraries, community centers, local colleges, and other meetups with your presence, and learn how to help lift yourself and your neighbors up beforehand.
Spend Time Outside
We Texans love to barbecue, shoot off fireworks (SAFELY), and soak up the sunshine of our state—even when the weather gets to be fried-egg-on-the-dashboard hot. But getting out of the house isn’t just about celebration, or even your daily dose of fresh air! It’s a way to be seen and see others! What better way to get over breaking the ice with your neighbors than having a regular morning walk in your area, or spending time working on some planting in the front yard? Believe it or not, the micro interactions that come with your fellow homeowners complimenting your new running shoes or colorful marigold growth are crucial mood boosters that lift up the esteem of the whole community! Even if you’re more on the introverted side, a good smile and a ‘how do’ can be all you need—just practice that friendly wave.
Listen to the Experts
You know how it is when someone at your workplace brings you a Secret Santa style gift you really can’t use? Imagine that level of awkwardness and piling up…but surrounding a deep sense of loss, then multiplied by tens or even hundreds depending on how large the community is. Not a great picture! Fortunately, there are lots of guides to help you figure out what to do and donate to both families and organizations affected in your area. Check them out before anything strikes and be sure to share what you’ve learned whenever you can!