Guide to Going Local Volunteer Blog Post

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The Guide to Going Local

The ubiquity of the ‘consumerist spirit’ in today’s largely industrialized world is apparent; and so we see, even in the smallest of cities, the effects of a modified ‘American Dream’ that encourages an excess of choice and spending and centers life around consumption. Just a quick sweep of our reservoirs of media memories will result in an array of familiar phrases and images pushing us to buy more, eat more, use more, watch more, and simulating in us a need for material satisfaction. Here is where the Center for a New American Dream steps in, a country-wide program hoping to move society’s focus to enjoying the people around us by creating a sustainable and healthy community. The aim of this organization is to “help Americans reduce and shift their consumption to improve quality of life, protect the environment, and promote social justice,” and to thereby reconfigure the American Dream to its original purpose of “self-actualization and personal fulfillment.”

To initiate this change, the Center provides (free) resources and tools to communities, individuals, institutions, and businesses in the form of Community Action Kits, one of which is the focus of the Center’s current campaign—The Guide to Going Local. It will help people organize and launch their own campaigns and projects to get communities investing in local people-power and skill, relying more on local produce, and nurturing bonds with neighbors and friends through activities. The guide will help at every step of the process, from inspiring a person to pursue a project, to supplying them with step-by-step instructions on how to carry out their plan.

The Center hopes to reach its total funding goal of $12,000, so it can complete the guide and make it available online by Fall 2012. The tipping point goal is $8,000 and currently $5,401 (and counting!) has been raised with a day left in the campaign. The funds are needed for research and content development of the guide, video production documenting stories of people working with their communities, and graphic design of the guide to create a polished product. Reaching the total funding goal will then enable the Center to contact partner organizations and enhance the guide by including city, town, and neighborhood-specific resources to cater to more communities across the country. Today is the last day for this campaign so it’s vital that we all, as supporters of this cause, spread the word about the Guide to Going Local through all of our social networks including Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. If this is a campaign that inspires you, please try to help in any way you can, either by directly donating to the cause or by simply raising awareness through your networks.

Shaakya Vembar

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