I learned at an early age how important it is to give back. Growing up in a family of educators, I always watched my mom, aunt and grandmom go above and beyond to educate and assist their students, both inside the classroom, and out. They often worked in schools in low-income neighborhoods in Philadelphia, so the schools often lacked funding, and a large population of the students were in financial need. There were so many times I’d see them giving back to their students, by buying educational materials beyond what was already provided, or personal items that the kids and/or their families needed (with the school and their parent’s permission, of course). They wanted their students to be successful, so they dedicated themselves to helping them in any and every way possible.
I’ve always been inspired by their philanthropic spirit, and was always encouraged to help others in any way I could. So, throughout my life I’ve always found ways to give back to the communities in which I live, work, play, and even visit. And, it doesn’t matter what stage of life I’m in. I’ve been volunteering and giving back from when I was in high school, well into my adult life. And I don’t plan on stopping. Giving back is so rewarding. I think it’s so important to give back to your community, in any way possible!
Here are 3 ways I give back to my community:
Donate my time
There are plenty of community organizations that need ongoing volunteer assistance. I’ve donated my time by preparing and serving food at homeless shelters, wrapping holiday gifts for children in need, and driving around the city to drop off bags of food for low-income, home-bound residents.
I’ve also donated my time in less traditional ways. For instance, while working as an on-air host & producer at a community radio station, I also had the opportunity to work with a small group of local high school students, and helped them to produce their own, on-air talk show where they discussed issues affecting them in their community.
Donate my expertise
You can also think about your interests and strengths and how you can use them to best serve others. A few years ago I learned about an organization that pairs professional women writers with high school girls who also have a strong interest in writing. I had the wonderful opportunity to mentor a young lady for a year. Throughout our time together, I helped her to further develop and strengthen her writing skills, public speaking abilities (she had to present an original piece to a crowd of family and friends at the end of the year), and getting us published in an anthology produced by the organization.
Donate my money
If you don’t have time to give back, you may consider helping out financially. Sometimes, it may be the best or only option to help those in need. I have donated holiday gifts, food and clothing to families in need. And often times, I’ve just written checks to various organizations that I want to support in some way.
If you’re interested in finding a way to give back to your community, just use one of these three ways as your starting point!
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has launched a corporate giving campaign called Band Together. Through this initiative, they will donate a total of $2 million to support three important causes – health, home and hunger, benefiting the following nonprofits: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, and Feeding America or Food Banks Canada. Your vote will help Jewelers Mutual decide how to disperse the funds among the three organizations. The one that receives the most votes by July 31 will receive a $1 million donation from Jewelers Mutual. The first runner-up will receive $700,000, and the third-place winner will receive $300,000.
Band together with Jewelers Mutual and cast your vote now! Each week, one lucky voter will win a set of 3 stacking bands from STACKED New York ($450 retail value). So be sure to vote every day to increase your chances of winning! Voting ends on July 31, 2016 at 11pm CT.
Click here to cast your vote in the Jewelers Mutual Band Together campaign.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.