Shuttlesworth Law Firm, LLC - October 2019

THE SHUTTLESWORTH SENTINEL

201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411 www.shuttlesworthlasseter.com

Personal Injury Product Liability Wrongful Death

Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Assisted Living Abuse/Neglect

10 .2019

MAKING A DIFFERENCE MADE SIMPLE HOW YOU CAN SERVE OTHERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Have you ever wanted to make a difference in your community, but you just don’t know how to start? Maybe the sheer number of choices available when it comes to community involvement overwhelm you, or maybe the gargantuan task of “making a difference” feels too daunting. Even though looking for ways to help might be stressful, don’t worry. If you really care about finding opportunities to improve the lives of others in your community, you’ll be able to narrow down your search in no time, just as long as you keep a few things in mind. THINK OF WHAT YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT Do you like working with kids? Do you want to serve the elderly? What about animals? For whatever you like doing, there’s probably a charity or nonprofit organization where your interests will align with their mission. Even though I had no experience with it when I began, I discovered I have a passion for helping people living in public housing. I’m on the board of two nonprofits, Navigate Affordable Housing Partners and Housing Affordability Trust, both of which fund and support projects and programs helping those in need of affordable housing. The work we support includes renovation of affordable housing, job training, sheltering abused women and children, building senior centers, and funding scholarships. In so many places, including our own communities, public housing is constantly in need of help, and many residents are stuck in situations of poverty, drugs, and abuse. I feel fortunate that I’m in a position where I can do my part to help these members of our community. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BIG Just because you don’t have the capacity to help in a big way doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help at all. You might not have the opportunity to be on the board of directors for the charity of your choice. But you can look around online and find events and volunteer opportunities that line

up with your schedule. Maybe they need servers at the local soup kitchen one night, or perhaps you have some old clothes and toys you can donate. My daughters have volunteered

with the YWCA here in town, which is always in need of volunteers. Any greater involvement in something starts with a small first step. Serving on the board of directors for the past 15 years started with me simply saying “yes” when a friend from law school asked if I was interested. As my passion for serving people in public housing grew, so did my involvement. JUST MAKE THE TIME Working with Navigate Affordable Housing Partners and the Housing Affordability Trust is a huge part of my life, and we do a lot of valuable work for the community. That being said, sometimes it can be very difficult to make it to meetings and events due to time constraints. But then I remember those whom we serve, and I always end up finding the time and energy. Many of the projects we fund and services we provide to those in need simply would not be met if we were not there to help. So, every time I struggle to get to a 3:30 p.m. meeting, I remind myself that this work is how I can make my tiny corner of the world a little better. If you’re in the Birmingham area and are looking for ways to help with different organizations, a great place to start is the United Way of Central Alabama website, UWCA.org. They have several volunteer opportunities for anyone who’s passionate about helping others and looking to take their first step.

–Perry Shuttlesworth

(205) 322-1411 • 1

www.shuttlesworthlasseter.com

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