After the really moving response to this post, it got me thinking: What are other ways I can use this small but mighty site to ignite change? Even if we do little things to make a difference in our communities, states, country or world…small can be powerful. And, as we all know, when we act together, those small things can become more impactful things!
Now, I recognize none of the below are groundbreaking ideas but I do hope they serve as little catalysts for each of us to do something (myself included which you’ll discover in the bottom of the post!)
As a bit of background, I went to a Jesuit university whose instilled in me and many other students as part of our education a desire to not only find our vocation but also to serve the communities in which we live. I had so many memorable experiences at my university through professors, priests and fellow students that showcased every day the power of giving back and I am so glad that it was a part of my higher education. The values shared are those that stay with me today and make writing posts like the one I’m sharing here not only easy, but enjoyable.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
1. Host a postcard writing party.
We are in a time where we need to make our voices heard more than ever. And doing that in the company of friends makes it all the more worthwhile. Gather your friends to host a postcard writing party where you each take time to write to your elected officials to make your voice known. THESE darling postcards from Free Period Press are the perfect vehicle to do so and you can hand them out alongside glasses of vino when your friends arrive. Better yet? For every set sold, Free Period Press will donate one pack to a school or community organization. (The owner of Free Period Press wrote to me about the postcards after reading my post about having a voice and I’m so glad she did so I could share her awesome product with you guys!)
2. Find a cause you love and support it.
I have a few organizations I donate to annually but every year I also find one charity that I’ve never donated to before and give to them. It is often current event-related (for example, last year I gave to the Karam Foundation through my friend Hitha’s company Bridge2Act because they are an organization that are working to help children in war-torn Syria.) No matter how much you feel you can donate, every little bit counts. So the next time you go to buy that top that is on sale, maybe you refrain and you put that $25 or $50 to a charity that will be ever so grateful.
3. Send a care package to someone who needs one.
Remember when I mentioned that I’m sending more little care packages to friends? It’s often little beauty products or something I saw randomly that made me think of them. Nothing big or expensive. It takes me one quick trip to the post office and they are always so appreciated. So the next time someone you know is going through a hard time, had a horrible day at work, got sick…you name it (or for no reason at all!), take an hour and gather a few things, pack them up, write a card and head to the post office to send out a package. It’s well worth the time and effort.
4. Donate your time.
If monetary donations aren’t your thing you can give the gift of time! So many organizations need volunteers and man, are those experiences rewarding. The time in college where I served dinner and slept in a homeless shelter sticks with me to this day. No matter the cause or organization you end up volunteering with, spending time with people from different walks of life is always rewarding in my opinion. If you’re in the tri-state area I have personally volunteered with New York Cares on multiple occasions and always had a great experience. I also found this site that will match you to a volunteer experience based on your interests!
5. Help a friend.
We all know it can be difficult to ask for help. We also all know we have plenty of things that need to get done that would be so much easier if we just had some help! I still remember how grateful I was when Bekka voluntarily offered to help me cart my desk all the way from the Upper West Side in a truck she was borrowing and then carry it up FIVE FLIGHTS OF STAIRS with me. I was so moved by the gesture and it meant a lot that she offered without my even asking! So pick a friend you live by and find something you can do to help them! It could be as simple as running an errand for them, offering to bring dinner by one night if they are having a busy week or offering to accompany them to a task they aren’t looking forward to doing.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and that it inspires you to do something to make a difference soon! And let’s also not forget random acts of kindness – they, too, can be so powerful and can create a domino effect.
I personally just added a volunteer opportunity with my church to my calendar for later this month after having penned this post. I was overdue and I’m looking forward to giving back to my own community very soon.
[Image via Pinterest]