For community organizations, the 4th of July is typically a big day for making a splash and gathering residents together for fun and fireworks. This year will be no different.
But should it? At a time when our nation often seems more divided than united, its 241st birthday coming up next week may feel more significant, more sentimental, than others we’ve celebrated in its recent history.
Safely Tapping into that Emotion
Organizations are understandably cautious about any activity or statement that could prove divisive or controversial in the heated political environment we face. Recognizing that this heat is fueled by patriotism, love for our country and fear, is there a way to siphon out the good feels in a way that unites?
Community Birthday Card
Consider creating a birthday card wall and inviting your community members to add their well-wishes. Writing their deepest wishes for the Land of Liberty – and reading their neighbors’ similar yearnings – could be surprisingly cathartic as patriotism’s accompanying emotions rise.
Start with your staff in order to prime the pump and demonstrate the types of messages you’re looking for. Provide a variety of materials for creating messages and encourage creativity in design.
A Few Considerations
To make sure your birthday card wall remains fun and positive, consider:
- Requesting that only positive birthday wishes be made
- Making the wall just for kids
- Having messages turned into staff to post rather than posted directly by individuals
- Reserving the right to post only messages deemed inappropriate
- Avoiding engagement with contributors about whether messages will be posted
Take a Picture
If you decide to create a birthday card wall – or some other variation, we’d love to see it! Post your birthday card to our Facebook page.