Hey Battle, Have You Considered Civic Engagement?

Posted May 14, 2014

By: Marvin Cadet

Grassroots Coordinator, Operation College Promise

The Mission Continues, Alumnus
In 2012, the Corporation for National and Community Service reported that one in four adults living in the United States donated their time to an organization through volunteerism. This insight shows that volunteerism is an essential activity for millions of people, nation-wide. Organizations such as The Mission Continues would argue that volunteerism and civic engagement can facilitate the healing process for post 9/11 veterans.

Becoming more civically engaged is the name of the game. Civic engagement done well creates a sense of community amongst its participants. The late social worker Sherry Arnstein claims that that there are three ways that we become more civically engaged. Using the idea of a blood drive can showcase this.

Donating- donating blood where as a citizen, one would take time out of there day to contribute to the cause.
Organizing- organizing a blood drive which would consist of organizational or organizations collaborating in order to acquire more resources to successfully run the blood drive.

Advocating- advocating for services that include donating blood as a primary objective.

At Operation College Promise (OCP), we advocate for veterans and their pursuit of education. OCP raises awareness to advisors and service providers at colleges across the country on best practices to facilitate the process through the Certificate for Veteran Service Providers program. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, 2.5 percent (564,000) of veterans currently make use of educational benefits under the G.I. Bill. College universities are also a great medium for learning and developing awareness for civic engagement through collaboration, fundraising efforts and activities that are simply fun.

As a Mission Continues alumnus and active college student myself, I could attest that civic engagement has done things for me such as: create positive feelings towards negative issues, develop creative ideas and solutions towards real-world problems along with making me a more informed citizen.

So if you love America like I do, I’d invite you to check out what’s going on in your local community. Service can prove to be a benefit to you and your community. I’m sure there is something out there you can become a part of.