They won't be making the evening news show and you'll probably not be reading their names on the front page of the local newspaper, but they're out there, nonetheless, making an impact in their communities. They run soup kitchens and food banks, raise food in small gardens to give to others, and put on benefit programs of all types to help those in need locally. But they're not celebrities and they're not tied in with large, well-known charities, so much of their work goes unheeded and unheralded. That doesn't matter - their work goes on.
A small group of volunteers in Union Bridge is staffing a local food bank, open for a few hours a week, to provide needed food to area residents, most of whom have no transporation to get to the cities where most food bank operate. This local group is filling a vital need for these residents who have little or no other resources available.
Another group in the area is putting on a community yard sale next month to raise money for the food bank. Items are being donated by local residents and all proceeds will be given to the food bank. This same group also has a small organic garden on their property, happily tended by its members. All of the produce raised is being redistributed to those in need locally.
In nearby New Windsor, a woman is working hard to put together a youth concert planned for next month to benefit young people's programs in the area. Her team of volunteers are working together to publicize the event and coordinate local artists to participate.
None of these folks would be picked out of a crowd as being extraordinary in any way, until you get to meet them face to face and hear the passion in their voices as they talk about their projects. They aren't looking for fame - they simply see a need and are working to fill it.
Chances are, there are some folks in your area just like these, working on similar projects in your town. How do you find them? Start by checking the local newspapers, events calendars and community bulletin boards for notices of their events - in many cases, these small groups are aware of other efforts in the area as well.
Lending a helping hand to these local groups, or even starting up a project of your own, can make a real positive impact. What part are you going to play?