Are You Doing What You Love?

I have a feeling if we ask that question we would probably get a lot of nopes and some indifference. Why do we take and stay in jobs we don’t like? We need to eat. We have a family;we have bills. Now for those who took the leap and quit their corporate jobs and moved into their passions, we tip our hats to you. For those who are still on the grind we tip our hats to you as well. Most of the leapers go into the non-profit sector. They are working everyday in their jobs to make a difference. Well, those who can’t do that, what do you do? Do you not help? The answer is: no, you can still make a difference.. What are some you can do this in your current position? First, you can talk to your boss/supervisor about starting an ongoing food bank or pantry donation drive. Your office can setup a basket in the break room with a sign saying ‘food bank donations’ and designate someone to drop them off when the basket gets full. Another way you can help is by forming a team for cancer walks or another worthy cause when the opportunities presents itself. Choose a fun name for your team. This is also a wonderful bonding experience. What a way to build a real team and boost morale. There are several more ways you can help without quitting your job. I’d love to hear some you’ve done at your workplace.

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September is #HungerActionMonth. What you can do to help…

Today’s world is more advanced in technology, medicine, communication than ever before. But something else is on the rise as well; more people are hungry than ever before. We see the commercials about starving people in other countries as well as here in the US. Sometimes we tend to think hunger is not a real problem here but it is. The stats on food insecurity here in this country are staggering (check out Feeding America’s website). What’s going in the Horn of Africa is heartbreaking. What can I do?!..you think to yourself. It can make you feel as if the problem is too great. It’s not. We can help. Here are some ways we all can get involved in stamping out hungry. #1 Volunteer at your local food bank. Go online, check the yellow pages or call information to find it. The food bank receives food donations and monetary donations to obtain supplies to distribute throughout the community. #2 Organize a food drive. You can get your office involved, book club, or have one at home. Collect non-perishables, can goods, etc. that you can give out or donate to the food bank. #3 Have a pantry party where you don’t exchange food but rather give it out to people in need without taking anything in return. #4 Be an advocate. Join organizations like Feeding America and spread the word about hunger. Contact your representatives and let them know you’re concerned about food insecurity here in the US. #5 Organize a fundraiser to help those in other countries who are suffering or donate online to organizations such as CARE which is helping in Africa. If we do what we can and then strive to go beyond that, we will make a difference.

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Ways To Give Back When You’re On A Budget

So you’d like to give to charities and worthy causes but you’re on a tight budget yourself. Well, take heart! There are ways you can do just that. You don’t have to be rich in order to be a giver. Tip#1: Give YOU!! No amount of money can replace the gift of you and your heart. Find a local charity you believe in and volunteer your time. To save on gas, you can car-pool with fellow volunteers or take public transportation. Tip#2: Look online for websites and organizations that operate on ‘per click’ donations. All you have to do is click on a link or ad and you donate to that charity without reaching into your wallet. If you don’t have a computer, visit the public library. Tip#3: Lend your voice to the cause. Be an advocate for your cause by spreading the word. Talk to your friends and family. You can even contact your legislative representative about voting for policy changes that will benefit the cause you believe in. Tip#4: Organize a fundraiser. Have bake sales and yard sales. You can use coupons to purchase the bake sale items or ask for donations from grocery stores, as well as enlist the help of neighbors and friends. A block yard sale where neighbors who can donate items would not only raise money, but also promote unity in your area. Whatever you do will be a blessing to those in need…and you.

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Raising up kids who give back

In a world of entitlement and self-centeredness, it seems as if would be difficult to raise kids who care about others and put that care into action. We’re bombarded with so much ‘stuff’, all kinds of social networking and gaming options it’s a feat just getting some kids to play outside. Take heart though, it is possible to raise a child who wants to take care of the need of others and give back to their community. First thing, and the most vital is, be a volunteer or activist yourself! Whether we like it or not, as parents we are our child’s first teacher and we have to be the example of what we what to see in them. Second, make doing some sort of community action activity non-negotiable. There’s a scripture in the bible that says, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Well, make it a value and rule in your house that “as for me and my house, we will give back to our community (and the world)”. Third, encourage your child to empathize with those in need by telling your story of previous hardship, if you have one. Transparency goes a long way. Next, take your kids on a visit to a nursing home, a shelter, somewhere they can see how blessed they are and how ‘normal’ everyday people fall on hard times. Last but certainly not least, talk to your child. Ask them what makes them sad or touches their heart; help them to get connected to a charity that fits their answers.

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How to find your volunteer niche

So you’re ready to give back to your community, to the world and you’re wondering where to start. There are so many worthy causes, and so many people in need, it can get you confused deciding what to choose. I’ve been volunteering for many years and I’ve learned a thing or two. I’ve complied a list of what to and what not to do’s. Tip#1 What touches your heart? When you see a commercial about starving children in Africa do you reach for the tissues and wish you could feed them through the screen? Do you see people littering or using too many pesticides and break out in a cold sweat? How you answer these questions and your response to situations and needs is the first step in finding your volunteer niche. Tip#2 Don’t try to take on someone else’s niche. It’s easy to get swept up in a cause that a friend or family member gives their heart and soul to. They’re passionate about it and you can start to think that’s what you should get behind as well. Separate yourself from all the things you see them do and hear them say and ask yourself if you would lay your life down for that particular cause. Tip#3 Check your local newspaper and find volunteer clubs that champion a variety of charities. They normally have weekly or monthly meetings. Tip#4 Get your feet wet. It’s ok to take your time and increase your volunteer time and causes as you go along. If it’s meant for you, you will go from volunteer to activist. Tip#5 Make sure you really are enjoying what you profess to believe in. It should warm your heart even at the end of a long, arduous volunteer day, knowing you’ve followed your passion.

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