Get involved and make a difference
Letter by Jackie Doherty published in The Lowell Sun, April 25, 2007
Some day (hopefully decades from now) when I am dead, I would like my obituary to say I was an activist—someone who paid attention to the important issues and took action to make things better. Many people don’t know how to be active for change or think they don’t have time or their efforts won’t matter. Perhaps it’s because the problems seem too great, the solutions too difficult. I think it’s because people do not realize how much their involvement is needed and the difference it can make. Studies have shown that one caring adult can make a tremendous difference in a child’s life. How much more of an impact could 50 or 100 caring adults make in our community? (Not to mention the political clout of citizens working together.)
Let’s say you are concerned because the House budget did not include funding for the Shannon Grant, an anti-gang program to help police, schools, and youth groups work with at-risk youngsters and their families. Maybe you think preventing kids from becoming involved in gangs is a priority, and the state should provide more funding around this issue rather than abandoning it. What can you do about it? You could get involved with Stand for Children, a national advocacy group. The group has achieved results—they held a huge rally and lobbying effort at the State House last year which helped win $216 million more in education funding; they are repeating that effort today and continue to gain local supporters concerned with children’s issues.
My mother used to say: “There are two kinds of people in the world—those who complain and those who do something.” Well count me with the doers, and please consider joining us, for it is the only way things will get better. To learn more, visit www.stand.org/ma.
Jackie Doherty is a member of the Lowell School Committee