|Charlotte, NC and Tampa Bay, FL - both 2012 convention sites|
Photos by James Butler and James Willamor
During these dates, both cities will experience a surge in commerce as convention-goers descend on hotels and restaurants. Hopefully, this will be good for the local economy. But I'd like to pose a challenge for convention-goers to go beyond simply boosting local businesses' bottom lines.
I'd like to suggest that everyone attending either convention donate some of their time or money to help out the cities they're visiting.
Maybe it's the Girl Scout in me, believing that you ought to leave a place in better condition than you found it. Maybe it's just a desire to see that community spirit isn't dead among the political set. Either way, imagine how people jaded by political game-playing could have their faith renewed by some simple acts of charity. Imagine how thankful each city would be to the Democrats and Republicans who showed true American spirit, a respect for fellow citizens and the cities that so graciously hosted them.
So I challenge the various groups attending both conventions to start asking around: are there parks that need cleaning up? Schools that need painting? Donations that need sorting? What can you do to leave Charlotte and Tampa Bay better places than you found them?
Here are a couple of links to get started:
Charlotte, NC volunteer opportunities
Tampa Bay, FL volunteer opportunities