If you are like me, and absolutely love to help, you might fall into the struggle of deciding who to give to. There are so many wonderful organizations and causes with the ability to change the world, but unless you're Bill Gates or Angelina Jolie, it is nearly impossible to make a meaningful financial impact on the organizations you love. Thankfully, helping someone in need goes way beyond economic support.
Give your time. Time is the most valuable, non-renewable resource humanity has; and is the most meaningful asset you could give to someone. It shows that in the midst of your school, relationships, work, and other obligations, you are willing to help their mission spread. It puts the spotlight off your life and immerses you into the life of another. In that divine moment of volunteering, you are literally walking the footsteps of a stranger, walking miles upon miles in their shoes. Volunteering your time allows you to be a physical part of the organization, even if it is just answering telephone calls in the office.
How you can do it: Many organizations host local events. Find a nonprofit you are passionate about, and see if they host events in your area. The American Cancer Society often hosts local Relay for Life events, in which you and your friends can get together to walk and raise money for cancer research. Habitat for Humanity, an organization created by President Jimmy Carter, has chapters all throughout the United States, and offers a myriad of tasks according to your interest. Many communities have local animal shelters, elderly centers, homeless shelters and libraries that host incredible events to benefit their participants. If your nonprofit of interest does not have events, why not be the organizer? Bring the cause to your community!
Give your talents. Can't afford to give to a cause? Offer your talents and passions to help the organization. Nonprofits are in constant need of pro-bono graphic designers, writers, and even lawyers! Whatever your passions are, you can use them for the benefit of the organization. Are you computer-savy? Offer to use your technological expertise on upcoming design projects, website maintenance, and social media. Talented at playing sports? Try hosting an inclusive sports team in your community, to help disabled teenagers have fun. Are you a budding journalist? Use your writing skills to write press releases, promote the organization, and proofread.
How you can do it: All you have to do is e-mail your cause of interest. Describe why you are interested in their mission, and how you can help them using your talents. If you have passion and purpose, you are already on the way to changing the world.
Give your support. As a CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) of a nonprofit organization myself, I can honestly testify that positive e-mails and letters mean the most to me. Starting a non-profit is difficult, and it takes a lot of courage and hope that someone will believe in your vision. Sure, financial donations are helpful, but nothing means more than hearing my work is making a difference somewhere in the world. Has an organization changed your perspective, brought you hope, or inspired you? Tell them!
How you can do it: Contact your non-profit and send them some love!
Overall, there are multiple ways to make a difference in the life of somebody or the actions of a nonprofit. Get up, get involved and get prepared for the amazing journey that service brings!
Follow Julia Schemmer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/msjuliadarling