Today is Giving Tuesday!
I wanted to share some simple ideas for how to give back. I feel a little bit weird writing a post about giving back as it sounds a little self-righteous. Like, “look at me and all these good things I do, aren’t I great!?” Ew gross. So just know that isn’t the point of this post. I am fortunate to have a large(ish) platform over here and while it’s fun talking about fashion and beauty and pretty things, it would feel like a huge miss to me to not talk about giving back.
I don’t want to be preachy. Some of you are likely living paycheck to paycheck. In that case, volunteer or do some of the smaller things I listed out at the bottom of the post. Others of you are new parents and/or working a hundred hours a week and/or just don’t have much free time. In that case, maybe donating money is a better option. There’s a way for everyone to give.
I also want to stress that no good deed is too small. The little stuff adds up and if we all did one little thing every day it would add up and make a big difference.
Lastly, giving is personal! I think it’s important to find causes + charities that you’re passionate about and support them with your time, your money, or both if you are able to! We all have different interests, strengths, and political views and you should play to those strengths and interests when thinking about how to give back! I’m going to share the charities I choose to support below, but I really encourage you to find one (or a few) that align with your own views, and help them as much as you are able to. Similar to my stance on voting, I don’t care who you give to… or whether you give your time or money… it’s that you’re doing it that matters.
Giving your time.
Volunteering is so important (and humbling) and frankly something I don’t do enough of. I am pretty good about regularly donating to charity but my time is where I fall short. One of my goals for 2019 is to volunteer at least once a quarter. I know that’s small BUT it’s more than I am doing now. I also really want to organize a reader meet-up via the Facebook Group where we all volunteer together (honestly I’m not even sure where to begin though, so please let me know if you have thoughts/suggestions there or want to get involved with that)!!!!
When I DO volunteer, it’s through New York Cares. You go through a very simple orientation and then you can select from hundreds of ways to volunteer every week. And you can choose things that line up with your interests or state of mind. For example – some days the idea of volunteering at a homeless shelter might feel particularly daunting or emotional, so you can do something easier like read or do crafts with kids. Maybe you’re a good cook, or maybe you love kids… there is always something to do that will line up with your interests.
Giving your Money.
Talking about donating to charity can be almost as daunting as talking about politics! Everyone has an opinion – it can get political, or people will jump down your throat and tell you you should be donating to a cause they think is better or more important. I think that’s really silly as it discourages the spirit of helping others which is what’s important.
I donate to UNICEF every year as I love their mission and they are very efficient – 88% of all donations go directly toward children in need. Also, I support 100cameras which helps to empower children, support communities, AND foster the arts. This is a favorite and I used to be on their advisory board! The other charities I love and regularly donate to are the ASPCA (because duh, animal lover), She Should Run (I love their mission), RAICES, and The ACLU.
One thing my family and I have done in years past is to skip gifts and make donations in each other’s names. I really liked it and it was fun to see which charities each family member selected.
With your things.
There are so many great organizations that give to women in the city. I am a blogger and dealing with an excessive amount of stuff, so I donate things every couple months… but I definitely recommend doing a big clean out (New Year’s resolution?) and donating everything that doesn’t fit. Or you could sell it on something like Poshmark or The RealReal and then donate the money to charity. I donate gently used clothing and beauty products to Dress for Success and Coalition for the Homeless.
Little Things That Add Up.
Buy extra canned goods at the grocery store and donate them to your local homeless shelter.
Fill older handbags with feminine care products and toiletries and bring them to a shelter.
Get a group of friends together and pick up trash for a couple hours. Make a morning/afternoon out of it and get brunch afterward!
Offer to help an older neighbor with yard work.
Make handmade cards for kids in the hospital. Most young patients can’t accept unsolicited visitors – but “get well soon” cards will help lift their spirits.
Organize a winter coat drive at the office or with your group of friends.
These are just SOME ways to give back. I’d love to hear your suggestions. What are your favorite ways to give back?