As we gear up for our inaugural Edward D. Lowry Award Ceremony on May 21st, we’d like to take the time to reflect on the many civic-minded qualities embodied by the award’s namesake and invite you to consider how you can integrate these principles into your own life.
In addition to overcoming adversity, Ed Lowry was well-known for his tireless dedication to serving others in his community. He was a tremendous source of inspiration for countless people throughout his life, and we can continue his legacy of community service by striving to engage in everyday acts of inspiring courage, service and advocacy.
Ed Lowry was a committed volunteer who consistently went above-and-beyond what anyone could’ve expected from just one person. Ed didn’t simply volunteer for organizations he was personally passionate about; he leveraged his voice and expertise to inspire others to get involved in volunteering as well.
As we gradually move towards some semblance of “normal” in 2021, ask yourself how you can get more involved in supporting community organizations through volunteer opportunities. Maybe you already volunteer once per month for one-day/weekend events such as local park or beach clean-ups, healthcare clinics, food pantry or soup kitchen preparations, exercising dogs for the local animal shelter, collecting supplies for low-income folks, or any of these virtual volunteering opportunities. Do you reach out to others and encourage them to get involved too?
Volunteering doesn’t have to be exclusively performed through an organization, of course. Helping neighbors with groceries, driving seniors to medical appointments or offering to babysit for a busy parent are some of the many ways in which a small action on your part can make a big difference in the lives of others.
Fundraising for Worthy Causes
If your schedule is packed or you have ongoing concerns about Covid-19, there are ways to help others in your community even if you’re not involved in hands-on volunteer efforts. By spreading the word about donation drives and other fundraisers on social media, email or video calls with family and friends, you could create a ripple effect for fundraising initiatives that wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t shared this information with others in the first place.
For more information on supporting donation drives, GoFundMe published this great list of 25 fundraiser sharing strategies to help you get more creative in your efforts to raise money for organizations and causes you care most about.
Engaging in Civic Advocacy
As a strategic advisor for First Amendment Voice, Ed Lowry was well-known for inspiring others to become more civically engaged in their communities.
Ways to get involved in civic advocacy include:
- Writing letters to elected officials to support local causes that deserve more attention from city council members and/or state legislature representatives
- Encouraging involvement in community work
- Identifying ways to modify access, barriers and opportunities in the community
- Developing a local “Time Dollars” program
- Getting involved in micro-grant programs
- Educating others about civic advocacy
At FAV we know that you are probably doing many of these things already. Keep up the great work, just like Ed did his entire life, and you will enjoy the satisfaction that comes from serving with purpose and meaning.