Creative Solutions Links to Useful Readings
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Useful Readings Online

Earl Babbie
You Can Make a Difference



"What sets heroes aside from the rest of humanity is the willingness to assume a personal responsibility for public problems" (p. 26).



Most of Babbie's book is online. Although the examples are from 1985, the points being made are pure 21st Century. See especially Chapter 3, "The Retreat from Responsibility" and Chapter 8, "The Opportunities Are Everywhere."

Giraffe Project logo (giraffes)

The Giraffe Project
(honoring people who stick their necks out)

"feature excerpts from speeches" by John Graham.

Graham is also the author of It's Up to Us, written for young people. In it, he says:

"Our media-filled culture trains people to be passive observers, watching actors deal with problems, and looking for ways to amuse ourselves rather than tackling the real-world challenges that surround us.
. . . At the Giraffe Project, we say that heroes take on serious challenges at real personal risk, to serve the common good. Celebrities are famous, but they're not usually heroes. [Heroes] . . . inspire us to take on difficult challenges in our communities and in the world; few of them are celebrities" (p.57).

Gifts to Share in Sacramento provides useful advice for getting a volunteer project off the ground. The Volunteer Project Guide is available in PDF format.

Authors Trish Davey and Lori Harder say: "Many volunteer efforts arise from an issue or problem. Why doesn't somebody do something about that? Issues and problems can become opportunities, and in the opportunity are the seeds for a positive solution which can rally community support and enthusiasm. An idea or a vision is only the beginning. To give your idea structure, discuss your goals and objectives with others." The guide provides useful steps for developing structure to achieve your goals.