5 Humanitarian Habits to Adopt in 2022

It’s January, which means you are probably being bombarded with messages about how to turn this new year into a new you. We happen to think you’re pretty great already, so instead of dramatic life changes, we’re offering a handful of habits you might want to adopt in 2022 to be more like a humanitarian!

1. Use YOUR Talents

When you imagine what a day looks like for humanitarian, you may picture some iconic hero saving lives in a disaster zone. But not every humanitarian career requires being in the field or area of crisis.

Just like ADRA and other organizations need accountants, IT professionals, fundraisers, and many other critical roles, the talents you have can help serve people right now.

The past couple of years have been rough on everyone. You may not even realize it, but you definitely have family, friends, and community members who would appreciate your skills.

  • If you’re a good cook, surprise someone with a warm meal or sweet treat.
  • Great with kids? Offer to babysit for an exhausted parent.
  • If you’ve got time and energy, walk a dog or run errands for a neighbor who can’t get out.
  • Have a great understanding of finances? Ask your church if there are members who could use some extra guidance.

What you have to offer may seem small to you, but we guarantee the impact will feel huge for someone who needs your helping hand!

If you’re interested in turning your talents into a career with ADRA, visit our careers page!

2. See the World

While ADRA is blessed to have offices established in some of the world’s most incredible places, we’re not telling you to book a ticket to Nepal, start practicing the Malagasy language, or brush up on Brazilian culture.

Broadening your worldview can happen close to home and may just mean getting out of your comfort zone and regular spots. Always be safe and be smart, but make the effort to visit new places, see new faces, and talk to new people.

The more experiences you have with other communities and cultures, the more connection, understanding, and empathy you’ll naturally develop. Just like travelling the world, you may feel out of place from time to time but that’s part of the experience and it will pass quickly.

These experiences can be as simple as setting a day or two aside to visit a new ministry or church community. Many churches whose congregations are predominantly a culture different than yours may offer services in multiple languages, so you won’t miss out on the message. And don’t skip the potluck! This is the perfect time to make some new friends and indulge in some delicious food.

Is there a foreign food market or specialty shop in your town? A beautiful fabric, fragrant tea, or other fun new find can help you bring home a small touch of the wider world!

When you are ready to put some stamps in your passport, did you know you can go into the field and get real humanitarian experience with ADRA? Our ADRA Connections trips are short-term humanitarian missions in amazing locations, and we’d love to have you join us!

3. Consider Your Impact

When ADRA designs a project, we don’t just choose tactics that will help the most people—we also consider the impact this work will have on the environment and make long-term sustainability for the community a priority. This can mean introducing community gardens with crops that are drought-resistant, working with communities to turn waste into nourishing compost, and only using equipment that can be maintained and repaired using local materials.

This kind of thinking is something we can all implement in our own lives, so can you think of actions you could take that lessen your negative impact on the world?

  • Start a garden. Even small gardens can provide produce for you and are wonderful for the environment.
  • Minimize all the “stuff.” Buy less, consider getting second-hand when you can, try to buy things with less disposable packaging, and recycle what you can.
  • Compost as much of your kitchen waste as possible. That garden you started will thank you!
  • Carry reusable bags, water bottles, and other sustainable replacement for disposable materials.

It takes a lot of love to think of the impact you may have on others in your everyday life. If you want to help us provide more sustainable solutions, consider making a Love Gift.

4. Practice the Power of Prayer

ADRA is an agency fueled by faith and we see the transforming power of prayer in our work every day. We pray together and we know the prayers of our supporters are there for us when we need them most. Prayer is a very, very powerful thing.

We realize you probably don’t need us to tell you that prayer is good, but we do want to encourage you to make prayer a regular part of your life every single day. Prayer is our opportunity to open our hearts and have a conversation with God, so be intentional about it and get into the habit of setting time aside to talk to your Father about what you need and what makes you feel grateful.

Prayer is a very personal thing and sometimes we don’t feel comfortable talking about how to pray. Don’t get us wrong, there is no one way to approach God in prayer, but making it a regular, intentional habit can take a little time and practice.

One tactic that has helped us strengthen our prayer habit is putting pen to paper. 

  • Kee a prayer list with you so you can add to it regularly. Don’t forget to add friends, family, and others who could use your prayers!
  • Keep a gratitude journal. The more you think about what you’re grateful for, the easier it will become to recognize the blessings in your life.
  • God welcomes your prayers in any form, so write yours down if that works better for a busy mind or to focus your thoughts.

Whether you’re new to regular prayer or have been doing it forever, we hope you’ll include ADRA in your prayers. Be assured that we are praying for you all the time!

5. Even If You Give Small, Give Regularly

If you wish you could do more for the causes you love, you are not alone. Regardless of budget or schedule availability, we all wish we could do more. Consider this your reminder that you don’t have to donate a lot of money, volunteer unlimited hours, or offer other major support to make a difference. It’s true, we promise!

If you’re looking for a way to make a bigger impact with the support you can offer, stop worrying about the amount and focus on making your support regular.

When you commit to regular giving, even at small amounts, organizations like ADRA know they can count on that amount every month, which makes it easier to effectively plan for future plans. You can donate your time regularly too–organizations that use volunteers spend a lot of time organizing schedules and appreciate being able to count on you for a set shift or two every month.

Want to know more about regular giving or get started with ADRA Angels monthly giving program? Click the link below to learn more.

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About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended.

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