How can you provide shelter? | @kjparkes #12Days4Good


Life is shaped by scarcity. Our history and humanity — both culture and biology — have always been shaped by need. Everything about us, from what we eat, wear, where we live, the language we speak, how we spend our time, and much more is a product of necessity. The story of technology is our work carefully fabricating solutions to the problem of scarcity.

Every one of us has to confront this problem. Having enough calories to keep our bodies going. Having shelter to keep us safe from the elements. Having clean water to drink. Fundamentally, we all have these needs in common. And yet many people have none of the above, forced to choose between food or education, medicine or shelter. It isn’t acceptable.

Technology is making everything cheaper than ever before, and more connected. Global conversations on topics like food scarcity and affordable housing are happening every day. Endless opportunities pop up on social media feeds to contribute to crowd-funding campaigns dedicated to someone’s well being. It’s amazing to see people around the world come together like that. But something is wrong with the system when you see a homeless man using his cellphone light to find cigarette butts at the local park.

It’s time to start focusing on the innovation so desperately needed in the areas that provide basic human needs: infrastructure, affordable housing, food security, and environmental research and protection. I applaud research into a basic income by places like Y-Combinator in the United States, nations in Africa and Europe, and the province of Ontario. Even if they prove a failure, this is the kind of thinking we need to encourage as we determine the best, most just way to shape our society.

It’s always been interesting to me that people go to an animal shelter and pick a dog that’s been kicked, beaten, and has maybe lost a leg or an eye, and they’ll take that dog home and give it all the love and support it needs. But we don’t do that with people. Recognizing that every single person’s life circumstances are unique and often times out of their control is the first step towards understanding how you can help.

I volunteer and give back to this community because I want to use my voice and skills to help make a difference. It makes my life better. I think that’s the secret. There is something about being on a mission that is bigger than you, something selfless, one hundred percent giving, that just feels right. It’s gives me a sense of belonging to this community.

Somewhere near you, somebody right now is trying to help those in need: providing food, shelter, clothing or simple kindness. It’s astonishingly simple. Join me and “do-gooders” across our community in recognizing the needs of others today, and consider donating goods to the wish list of local shelter YMCA, or get involved with a youth services organization like oneROOF.

by Katie Parkes

Today Katie is our featured Do Gooder. You can learn more about Katie and join her in doing good at!



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