If Dr. King proved anything, it's that service isn't a series of discrete acts -- it's a way of life.
I first learned about Hana some 20 years ago when I was living in Los Angeles and looking for a respite from a high pressure job I'd just finished. I asked around and, lo and behold, it turns out that a lot of people I knew pointed to one place and one place in particular: Hana.
Having worked at a homeless shelter now for nine months, the problem seems clear: A distinct lack of compassion on our behalves, and a severe lack of mental health services for the homeless.
For these highly intelligent, socially sophisticated, and family-loving orcas, we can do so much better than continuing to enslave and teach our children that these sentient fellow creatures should be captive in cement bathtubs for life.
It may seem like everyone around you has a spring internship and is therefore an infinite number of steps ahead of you. That isn't necessarily true and does not make you a failure.
This week, I've been thinking about A, the first boy I mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters. It was his birthday this week, and I try to send him birthday wishes each year, even though I'm no longer his Big Brother.
What happened next was also a surprise. I began receiving emails and Facebook messages from other people who read the letter and, moved by Chiara's situation, wanted to help in some way.
Voluntourism is a damaging industry, but it is important to remember that it is not the only way for people to get involved. There are hundreds of organizations which work to provide sustainable, effective, locally based aid to communities in need.
Though there are many, many organizations doing wonderful work to help the less fortunate, doing good and giving does not have to be applied to only to the non-profit world. Here are (lucky) seven everyday ways to do good.
Nearly 50 others have now joined us in the practice of making a grant a day. As of Dec. 31, 2014, we have made 790 total grants in 55 countries.
While there's nothing new about the desire to give as much as (or more than) one gets, many of the means by which such charitable assistance can be delivered are quite novel. And these days the knowledge of how best to leverage both big-heartedness and the jargony lexicon used to describe it is constantly in flux
As counterintuitive as it might seem, taking care of ourselves begins by reaching out to those around us -- by building the bridges of belonging that link us to one another.
Knowing that this is the case allows us to change its course. There are things we can do to lessen the letdown after the holidays have passed. And while January will never have the same cache as December, it can still escape from being a "low."
If it's that time of the year when we search for tax write-offs for charitable donations in the year just ending, why not also make it the time to plan for the charitable "donations" you won't be able to deduct in the year ahead?
Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake or Asian Tsunami Disaster, which killed an estimated 230,000 people in 14 countries. It elicited one of the greatest outpourings of humanitarian response ever from the global community.
Most people view this desire to give back as "charity." The arrogant thought that people in need deserve our help. What we neglect to understand is that we need to engage our hearts, minds and yes, our pocketbooks, because it helps us too.