Photo Credit: Spotlight On TV
May 21st, Thursday, is the Inaugural Red Nose Day here in the United States. What is Red Nose Day? Simply put, it's the perfect opportunity to get involved, have fun, and raise money to end poverty. It's a campaign dedicated to raising funds for young people living in poverty, through donations to 12 different charities. You can buy a red nose at Walgreens or make your own. Throw on a red nose and take a walk in someone else's shoes.
From a young age, I've had a keen sense of empathy and sympathy. I always wanted to help as many people as possible by trying on their shoes. We have a unique ability as humans to put ourselves in another shoes. Sometimes those shoes are torn, tattered, lost, ill, or hungry, but if you let your heart guide you, you may be able to give someone a better pair.
When we put ourselves in someone else's shoes, the only thing that's important is helping. The shoes will feel uncomfortable at first, they are not your shoes, but we are all human with the same desires of eating, sleeping, and loving. It comes down to primal needs, and so many of us on this planet don't have them. Some are hungry, some have nowhere to sleep, or are ill and can't rest due to worry and pain. Some experience no love in their life, only rejection and cruelty. It's our job as humans to put on those shoes and DO SOMETHING. Find a cause that speaks to you, that is near and dear to you and take action!
You're not sure of a cause in which you'd like to get involved, in addition to Red Nose Day? Think back to childhood. Think of what mattered to you as a child, or who, or when. Perhaps you had a dear family member who was ill. Perhaps you really enjoyed art class and couldn't wait until 1:30 when the teacher would take out markers and paint. Perhaps you had a family pet that meant the world to you. Perhaps you had an uneventful childhood, no pets, no illnesses, and nothing to which you feel particularly drawn. Great - be grateful and let that gratitude lead you to volunteer in some capacity; I guarantee you an opportunity will arise when your help is needed. In my opinion, we all have an obligation on this planet to get involved, do something, and help others.
I'm often met with, "Amber, I don't have any money, I'm barely getting by on my own, I can't help others." Yes you can. Helping doesn't always require money. There are incredible organizations out there, amazing men and women who are in the trenches and working as hard as humanly possible to help people. HELP THESE ORGANIZATIONS. You don't have money? Ok, donate food. Donate your car for a few hours. Donate TIME. That's one thing we all have to give, whether we acknowledge it or not.
Social media is another way to help. Let's use social media for good! Grab one of those red noses, make a friend laugh and snap a picture. Post it tagging #makemlaugh and M & M's has generously offered to donate $1 for every pic posted to fight poverty. It's as easy as that! Spread the word, and become part of the conversation of giving!
Other ideas after May 21st? Saturday morning you can pack up your kids and volunteer at the soup kitchen. Or get your company softball league to walk some dogs at a shelter. Or get a group of friends and family together and walk for a cause. Every one of us has skills and talents. GIVE. Teach a class in something in which you excel, give a talk, write a book. There are people out there who need your help. Care. Share. Donate.
So I urge you to put those shoes on, someone else's shoes. They will be tight. They will hurt your feet. They will be uncomfortable. And that's the very reason why we need to wear them. Grab a red nose and wear the shoes. Make someone laugh. And GIVE.
If your'e as inspired by Red Nose Day as we are, you will be pleased to know that this article kicks off our WeCareWednesday Campaign on Spotlight On TV. Every Wednesday we will post another spotlighted guest and organization. It will be that easy to get involved! We are also shooting a volunteer summer series, spotlighting ways to use those Saturday mornings for good.
As always we ask you, What cause do you shine YOUR spotlight on?