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On the Newsstand: Time Magazine's 21 Ways to Serve America

On the Newsstand: Time Magazine's 21 Ways to Serve America

Hot on the heels of last week's candidates' service forum, Time magazine has an issue devoted to "21 Ways to Fix Up America."

The best bit is the 21 item "User's Guide," filled with tips, tidbits, and pieces from everyone from Ted Kennedy advocating for his Serve America Act to Miley Cyrus on starting young, the list is full of unique ways to volunteer. If you've got time to spare, here are five ways you can serve America too:

  • Citizen Schools:
    The program has 3,200 adult volunteers running after-school programs for 4,500 kids at middle schools in 21 cities. Projects include building solar cars, and trying out their legal skills in mock trials.
  • Day of Service:
    Giving just one day, this year on Sept. 27, the ServiceNation coalition is hosting more than 1,600 service events planned across all 50 states.
  • Start Young Says Miley Cyrus:
    It's never too early to serve: "My family has been visiting Kentucky coal-mine towns since I was little. We take clothes, gifts and school supplies. It's an eye opener for me, seeing families here in America living in Third World conditions."

To see other ways to give back,


  • The Taproot Foundation:
    This organization helps connect talented professionals with nonprofits in need of their talent.
  • Locks of Love:
    Nonprofits like Locks of Love and Wigs for Kids make wigs and hairpieces for kids who have lost their hair because of cancer treatments or medical conditions. If your ponytail is at least 10 inches long, you're a candidate.

The whole list is packed with ways to give. Which one could fit into your schedule?


Join The Conversation
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
There are actually other organizations that take donated hair. Locks of Love isn't the only one. I wish I could remember where I saw the list of other places that take. If I come across it again I'll post it here. I can definitely see donating the money from selling your hair being more beneficial than sending a 8" braid of hair to Locks of Love. Also, you should check what salons will do the haircut for free if you are planning on donating hair. I remember getting a really great bob cut when I told the person I was planning on donating my hair to charity.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Bengal, would it make more sense to sell the hair and then donate the money? I just ask because I was considering doing locks of love, but I want to actually help, not just make more work for them.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
I think the Locks of Love people would prefer money, not hair. I read an article about how they get so much unusable hair that they don't know what to do with, and it's sad how people think they're doing something good but are ending up overwhelming the group with unusable hair. Then there's the backlash of how wigs are being sold and not used for cancer patients ... but it's probably because they need to get funding somehow to pay for making the wigs and the labor of picking through loads of hair.
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 8 years
i've already done locks of love, and i'm trying to schedule more volunteering in my life. :)
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Very good points, ilanac13, Brendelwoman, and YY. The Taproot Foundation, is a good volunteer source. It matches professionals with non profits in many areas of communications, marketing, and advertising, and others. A lot of the volunteering is project based. A great way to give back.
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
brendelwoman you're right. it's actually one of the biggest issues facing employers today - the fact that so many baby boomers are set to retire over the next 10 years. we are going to have a major worker shortage, and at the top experience level, too. many of those folks are in upper management positions. we need to encourage schools and training programs to work with gen x'ers who are going to have to transition into those positions, as well as gen y, the 'millenials' (born after 1982), who will have to fill the positions vacated by gen x'ers. they are estimating that 3 out of 5 jobs vacated in the next 10 years will not be due to lay offs (well, we hope not) but people leaving the workforce to retire.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i definitely think that there are things that everyone could do to make a difference some how - and a few of these are really reasonable. being one of those kids back in the day that had parents that worked multiple jobs and weren't home after school - i think that it's a great idea to have more robust after school programs that aren't just a babysitting service but instead you participate in activities that help you learn new things that can be useful in the future. i also think that having a 'service day' is something great too. a lot of people thing that volunteering for a day is not fun and something that will require you to do something outside of your comfort zone, but in reality there are soo many options of things that you CAN do that you'll really enjoy and think about how you'll help others - people who don't have as much.
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 8 years
I think we are really underusing the retired in this country. If most people are retiring from full time employment in their early 60's they have many, many good years to put to use. I think it would help with the depression that sometimes accompanies retirement and it would be great for our communities if there were more ways to get them involved. I don't know if the schools and hospitals are actively reaching out to retirees, but it seems like they should be.
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