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What to do with that nagging desire to help

July 17, 2020

Katie Berkedal, Program DirectorBy Katie Berkedal, Program Director

Are you the type of person who feels drawn toward positive action when faced with big challenges? Us too. All too often, though, the problems are so much easier to find than the solutions. Then we’re left feeling stuck with a desire to do good, but we’re not sure how to do it.

I’m sure we’re all feeling the drag of the current pandemic and are tired of not knowing when it will end. The election is only months away now, and with it brings much anticipation and anxiety, no matter your hopes for the result. The demand for racial equity is causing many of us to take an uncomfortable look at our history and how our present is perpetuating injustices that make living in our area a much different experience for our racially diverse friends, family, and neighbors. Oh, and also, climate change, opioid and meth crises, and, well, lots more.

It’s a lot. Like, A. LOT.

See how easy it was to list problems? It’s overwhelming. But also, it can be motivating. Let’s start talking about what we can do with our nagging desires to help.

  1. Obviously I’m going to throw this out there: give money. It can be to LCF or any nonprofit doing good work in areas you’re passionate about. It’s such an easy, quick way to feel good about your place in a greater movement of people working to affect positive change.
  2. Give stuff. From clothes to food to that old cell phone hiding under all the charger cords in your junk drawer, in-kind gifts move seamlessly from you to local organizations and into the hands of those in need.
  3. Work with a local nonprofit and your social network to organize a drive. Several nonprofits in town would gladly accept any amounts of diapers, furniture, and food you can gather. Just make sure to reach out to whichever org you’d like to help before you get started to make sure you’re filling a need.
  4. You can still safely volunteer, as many nonprofits have figured out creative ways to put volunteers to work in COVID-appropriate ways. Reach out to your favorite nonprofits to find out what they need.

I could go on, but the bottom line is this: there are lots of ways to do good work in a good way around here. And giving back will not only bring some much-needed levity to your day, but it will surely be appreciated by those you’re helping.

For extra motivation, here are some recent pics of helpers at local nonprofits:

Delane Swanson of Boys and Girls Club of Greater La Crosse delivering meals. (Photo credit Scott Rada, La Crosse Tribune).

Leticia Silva of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse working with a client at the Warming Center. (Photo credit: Peter Thompson, La Crosse Tribune)

Nutrition staff of the School District of La Crosse making sure no child goes hungry.

Bridget Todd-Robbins of La Crosse County System of Care helping a local high school student with critical bills.

Hal Hiebert (right) of Citizen Advocacy meeting up with his long-time friend, Steve Kulcinski.

Chris Emerson of YWCA’s Child Center, and her class of children of essential employees.

Bryce Dorff of St. Clare Health Mission working to ensure all patients have at least 90 days of prescription meds.

Shana Berg and Elizabeth Digby-Britten of The Parenting Place sorting donated diapers for their diaper bank.

Sara Berger of Couleecap giving financial assistance to people for critical bills