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COLUMN: Global impact begins at local level

Student shares lessons attained from Fresno event, encourages community involvement

Change can begin anywhere, even in a small city like Fresno. Fresno’s past shortcomings have left a negative impact on how its residents view themselves due to how homelessness, abortion, pollution and human trafficking have left a mark on the city.

[/media-credit] Jason Spencer, pastor at Image Church, spoke at the Discover Fresno event at the Well Community Church. He emphasized the importance of involvement in the community.

However, while Fresno is a microcosm of these global issues, steps to improve and restore the community are already underway.

The second annual Discover Fresno event at the Well Community Church, Feb. 8, highlighted the unfortunate realities of our city. Once these realities are recognized, they are difficult to ignore. 

While identifying problems in our city brings awareness, it is what we do with that awareness that produces change. We must get involved and be a part of the solution.

In a line from rapper NF’s song, “Remember This”, he says, “If actions speak louder than words do, it’s pretty quiet, isn’t it?” It is an eye-catching verse as it challenges people’s incentive to take action. 

It is too often that our answers for solving issues within the community is to wait for someone else to do it. If we are not passionate about change, then I am convinced that we have no right to blame others for not solving the problems. We must put ourselves into the equation. 

There are three important steps that I’ve learned from Discover Fresno event before engaging with local community outreaches. The first is to inquire. To ask big questions comes from a  desire to see big results.  

If someone wants to get better at math, it is crucial to ask questions. When trying to learn a new  instrument, the key is to ask someone skilled in that instrument to teach you how to master it. The same is true for volunteer work: pick out organizations that attract your attention and ask a professional what they are all about and how to participate. 

The next point is to listen. Questions and answers go hand-in-hand, which is why attentiveness is equally important. It proves that you have an interest in the need, and provides useful ways to help out in that area. 

The last is to pray. As a Christian, it is important to recognize God’s leadership in all things. Big or small, God works within the details. Prayer is a powerful way to find direction and answers when acting on community issues. 

[/media-credit] Tiffany Mangum at Fresno Housing Authority spoke on the impact of red-lining in the City of Fresno and the effects of a divided community

Personally, I find it difficult to view local problems on the same spectrum as worldwide problems. It seems as though volunteering outside the community is what really matters, but scripture makes it clear that serving in our own neighborhood is just as important as traveling overseas on missions trips. 

A simple verse to remember is Mark 12:31: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Our mission field is wherever God places us or introduces us to. We are called to love others in that place. Whether that’s overseas or here at home, we can make a powerful impact everywhere we go.

Below are three local organizations to get involved with:

Youth for Christ 

Youth for Christ hosts volunteering opportunities at special events. You can also go to  their website and click on the “get involved” option on the home-screen, or email [email protected] to receive more information. Call (559)-237-4741 to contact Youth for Christ.

Safe Families for Children

Safe Families for Children offers chances to be a host family, or a family coach by filling out an online application on their website. For more information, email [email protected] or call (559)-432-9696.

Fresno Rescue Mission

The Fresno Rescue Mission accepts volunteers for special events, working with kids, or serving meals to the homeless. Go to the Fresno Rescue Mission website to find out more ways to help out or call (559)-268-0839 to contact.

Fresno Christian will reach out to the local community through Serve Day, Feb. 27. Students will get the opportunity to impact their city by sorting medical supplies, cleaning up neighborhoods or painting over graffiti. Be sure to visit Aubri Foster’s room (604) to sign up for these activities.

For more articles, read Coronavirus spreads across the globe, public health threatened  or Discover Fresno exposes community to city needs, volunteer opportunities.

Jewel Chandler can be reached via email and Twitter.

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  • E

    EvaFeb 26, 2020 at 3:42 am

    This is great community working together but let be real a lot of this homeless can be Avoiding because all this is a lie I know for Experience they will not help until you are Actually homeless and Sometimes not even then Some people just need a little help after they lose their job or something to keep their home but they don’t help until actually you’re homeless or not even then it’s really sad they should learn to help before they’re homeless

  • B

    Brayden IestFeb 25, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Great writing, it’s vital to impact the community in any way possible.

  • R

    rosalynFeb 25, 2020 at 8:20 am

    wow this was really insightful. Love this keep it up!!

  • R

    rosalynFeb 25, 2020 at 8:20 am

    wow this was really insightful. Love this keep it up!!