The role of cheerleading expands far beyond the realm of school sidelines and competitive cheer gyms; it is a way of life, bringing joy and motivation into the lives of spectators far and wide. Whether you’re traveling around the world, interacting with a new circle of friends around town, or spreading cheer online, it’s important to acknowledge the big world outside of your immediate community. It seems the world is turning more and more violent everyday, and it’s up to people like cheerleaders to be the pioneers necessary to bring back a long-lost viewpoint–one of compassion and care for one another. This world needs more love in it, and cheerleaders can help people around them have a better attitude with little effort and a lot of heart.  Just in case this mission sounds impossible–start small… you don’t have the capacity to change the world overnight. But you CAN make a difference, and here are two ideas to get you spreading cheer around the globe:

1. Organize a canned food drive. Disasters happen every day–both manmade and natural. People lose their personal possessions, their property, and a lot of times, their bank account trying to recover from these kinds of tragedies. When people land on hard times, donated home goods, clothes, and food can be invaluable. If you know of a recent event that has either displaced people from their homes or made many people suffer through hard times, organize a drive at a community center for anyone to participate. Encourage people to donate non-perishable goods, blankets, diapers, drinking water, and toiletries. Don’t forget pet food! When disasters happen unexpectedly, it’s extremely hard to care for animals! Let people around town know about your cause and see if local businesses want to participate as a sponsor as well! Just make sure you contact someone in charge of a disaster committee to know where to send the collected goods.

2. Sign up for a pen pal. I know this sounds silly in this day and age, but writing a handwritten letter is an activity that shouldn’t die altogether with the rise of technology. There are many organizations that arrange pen pals between grade school students in the United States and those in other countries in order to share ideas and promote global connectivity. That way, you not only get to know someone you normally wouldn’t in a different part of the world, but you also get a free crash course in their culture! Let them know how dedicated to cheerleading you are and ask if that’s a big part of where they live. If not, let them know cheerleading is awesome and teach them some basic cheer knowledge and motions! Also, how do they go about spreading cheer in their community? If they have unique answers, see if you can do your own version of those activities locally! E-mails are a great way to correspond too (not to mention quicker!), but just make sure you know who’s on the other end of the computer to be safe. Have an adult in foreign exchange programs make sure you’re writing to someone safe and trustworthy.

What else can you do to spread cheer outside of your community? Let us know in the comments below!