It seems to be the giving season, not only of money, but time, goods, services and good thoughts. It’s quite exciting to see so many in my daily, offline life and in my daily, online life looking to be involved in any way they can.
I think for some, it may be beneficial to look in your own backyard, in your community and see who needs what kind of assistance and possibly how you can help. Some ideas are these:
- Clothing donations
- Taking non perishable food to your local food bank
- Volunteering at your local homeless shelter or women’s shelter
- If you have children in school, volunteer at your school. Your kids love to see you there.
- Donate your gently used baby gear to Goodwill or a consignment shop or donate them to your church. There’s always a family in need & baby gear is expensive. You can sometimes donate your old furniture (in good condition) this way, too.
I see many S&Bers, including myself rushing to be involved with a couple suggested charities, which is awesome. During all of this excitement, I’ve had an awful week. This past week, my parents put our family dog to sleep after a lengthy illness and in my house directly, my family became very sick. My children & husband needed me to care for them and then once they were better, I became sick with their illness. I have had time to think and search my soul. Charity begins at home, and helping your family become the best it can be. Sometimes in rushing to help others, you lose sight of your family and their needs.
With that said, I am very proud of my girls who are choosing to help the children and adults of Nkosi’s Haven ( you can donate here, it’s simple, easy and not expensive in American dollars: http://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/nkosi-johnson-one-in-a-million-campaign or you can follow the organization on Twitter @nkosishaven ). This happens to be one of Vanessa’s charities in which she feels very passionate about. There will be a team of women from our #team heading over to Africa in February of 2012. They will bring supplies, provide nursing care and I believe help build a school. This is a HIV & AIDS ravaged community which needs help. I will be blogging more information on this topic as I get details, in case any of you would like to offer any assistance.
But, don’t feel you have to travel to a foreign country to help.. Project Red is a fabulous way to start from home. You could donate a few dollars and help the AIDS community: http://www.joinred.com/red/
To help children specifically, you could always look at UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/
If animals are your passion, there are many organizations you could look at, in my opinion, the ASPA is the best: http://www.aspca.org/donate/?gclid=CPGEjPztxKsCFYNM4Aod8ygF6w
In the past few months, Vanessa has spoken out about Hydrofracking, which you can learn about here: http://www.energyfromshale.org/what-is-fracking?gclid=CIynsYzwxKsCFcNM4AodawOb4g and here: http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/ You should sign the petition and get the ban underway. Our water needs to be safe to consume in its pure form and in our animals, fruits & veggies. Vanessa is calling for people to write their local and state governments about banning this practice. That is another way you can be involved.
Maurice has been quite vocal about supporting a variety of charities, including children’s charities and the promotion of mental health and cancer awareness. You can see more at his official site: http://mauricebenard.tv/main.php?charities
These are just a few ideas in a sea of millions. I, myself , am throwing a little get together at the end of October, just before Halloween. It’s a simple wine & cheese party, maybe 10 girls and during the party, we will watch clips, chitchat and fill Halloween goodie bags with individually wrapped candies, no peanut products and on that following Monday or Tuesday, I will take the filled bags to my local children’s hospital for the kids who can’t trick or treat, maybe never trick or treated or may never trick or treat again.
Whatever you choose to do, just have the effort come from your heart and do what you can. Know that it is ok you can’t help everyone or every cause. If everyone just helped a little, it would make a huge difference! Let it be a dollar, a hundred dollars, a gesture, a kind thought, your time or give unwanted items. Every ounce of effort helps and does make a difference. Don’t feel pressure to be amazing, being ordinary is ok, it just takes a little extra to become extraordinary.
As I said before, I am quite proud of my S&Bers. They have huge hearts & great souls. Vanessa has provided us with great inspiration. Use the inspiration in the sense in which it was given. Be thoughtful, generous and amazing with the gifts you have to give.