By Fredrica Syren:
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Giving back to the world is not just a rich person’s gift but should be part of everyone’s goals. Giving back benefits not only the people or charities receiving but also can be quite therapeutic. My desires for giving back comes from a desire to make the world a better place. And yes, giving my time and money to the causes I support also makes me feel good there is no denying that but also to know that my charitable initiatives can have a great impact makes me feel a bit empowered.
It used to be that donations were about tax breaks but these days I see so many people like entrepreneurs, executives, celebrities who are very invested in causes of their choice and how they help develop value-driven programs. Example Leonardo DiCaprio has founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation that is dedicated to helping all earth’s inhabitants and to restore the threatened ecosystems. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook put philanthropy on the company’s agenda as soon as he took the job and since has donated more than $150 million to organizations such as Charity: Water, (RED), and Stanford University Hospitals.
But sure, it’s super easy to donate money especially when you’re wealthy so what do you do for us average people?
Donate– A donation big or small makes a difference. Furthermore, there are other things you can donate besides money like food to the local food bank, toys and clothes to shelters. Every Christmas our chiropractor collects toys for a local homeless family shelter, and instead of donating one toy my kids enjoy going to Walmart and buying toys for $100 to donate to this shelter.
My favorite causes that I donate to are:
Kiva—Non-profit organization who helps women in get out of poverty around the world by helping them start businesses.
World Wildlife Foundation—Fight global warming and pressing for stronger climate action as well as helping preserve threatened wildlife and eco-systems.
Doctors Without Borders—They help people worldwide by delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from health care.
Fundraise—Fundraisers are a great way to gather like-minded people and to raise money to donate to a favorite cause. Here is a post with some great ideas how to fundraise.
Help Your Community—Someone once told me that everyone wants to go overseas to donate his or her time when usually there are many in need in your own community. Me and my family like to help make our own community a better place and to help our neighbors. We help an elderly couple next door whenever we can. We also volunteer at our childrens’ school cleaning up the yard, help with fundraisers and even help families who either had a new baby or are sick by cooking for them.
Donate blood—This a very easy way to donate that does not cost any money or take too much time and can be lifesaver for someone.
Adopt an animal—We have adopted a rabbit from a local animal shelter and we have many friends who have found their furry family member by adopting them. If your home is not ready for a physical pet, consider adopting a wild life animal instead from the World wildlife organization. My children are the proud owners of a turtle, panda and tiger from this organization.