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Do your little bit of good

Sometimes the world’s challenges can seem overwhelming. Wars unfolding in multiple nations, the constant drumbeat of impending climate change disasters, under resourced communities, and unequal justice. However, when the going gets tough, time and time again, we see Americans get tougher. Consider the words of Desmond Tutu, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” 

Doing your bit of good to confront daunting challenges requires bravery and it requires collaboration. It requires action, confronting challenges in the world and—even when solutions seem out of reach— never giving up.  

For a combined nearly 90 years, the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps have given every day change makers an opportunity to connect with others to do their bit of good — strengthening communities and transforming lives in the process. AmeriCorps’ mission, to make service to others an indispensable part of the American experience, depends on this. Peace Corps’ mission of world peace and friendship does too. The fundamental premise that both federal agencies operate under is that all problems, no matter the size, can be solved by people committed to rolling up their sleeves, getting involved and making a difference. When brave people join hands and look outward, when they put their minds together and think in new ways, or when they stand shoulder-to-shoulder, there is no challenge they cannot solve.  

Over the past two years, the Peace Corps brought together volunteers, who previously served in every decade, to serve virtually when COVID prevented in person service overseas. And, for only the second time in the agency’s history, deployed volunteers in the U.S.; this time to aid in the COVID-19 response alongside FEMA. Many Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who were evacuated due to COVID came back from their service ready to continue their national service journey with AmeriCorps.   

Kieran began his two-year service in Madagascar as an English teacher. He taught sophomore classes, each with nearly 60 students. However, due to the pandemic, Kieran left Madagascar and returned to the U.S. only 18 months into his service. Wanting to do something more, Kieran joined AmeriCorps VISTA and served with KidSight MO, a children’s vision screening nonprofit in Kansas City that specializes in providing follow-up care and financial assistance to kids who have potential vision problems. He was part of the team that screened more than 67,000 kids throughout Missouri last year to prevent vision loss and help children be ready to learn in school.

If you, like Kieran, are interested in working alongside a host community abroad to foster world peace and friendship, we invite you to find out more on the Peace Corps website. If serving with organizations to strengthen communities across the U.S. speaks to you, you can find an opportunity with AmeriCorps

There’s no better time to get involved in your community or to work alongside neighbors across the U.S. and around the world. During National Volunteer Week, which is April 17 to 23, you can take the first step in your own community. Find opportunities by zip code at Americorps.gov/volunteer. Is there a local need that you’ve been thinking about?  Are you passionate about something and have skills to give? Whether you have one hour or one day, you can take action. And that action has a ripple effect – your connections, your work, your impact can last a lifetime.

The bravery of doing your little bit of good with many others, of forging connections and daring to make things better is a twofold gift. First, it’s a force multiplier of hope, and that’s the only way seemingly insurmountable obstacles will ever be conquered. And second, it builds the individual and collective human spirit to know we matter and that our contributions make a difference. That gives us the fuel we need to continue to make a difference for our communities, country and the world. 

We encourage you to find your fit and dive in. Find a challenge you want to support and do your little bit of good: Volunteer.  

Carol Spahn is CEO of The Peace Corps and Michael D. Smith is CEO is AmeriCorps. 
 

Tags Desmond Tutu

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