As I continue to get older (😭), one thing I enjoy doing on my birthday is trying to give back – whether that’s through monetary donations, time volunteering, or donating goods. So if you’re looking to give back, but not sure where to start – I’ve put together a few ideas on how you can pay it forward!
Donate Goods. This could be a variety of things; whether it’s canned goods or other needed pieces (many local food banks list their most needed items on their website), or going through your closet and donating old clothes to a local church, there are so many ways to give back. Even donating old furniture to a local Habitat for Humanity is another great option, some places even pick-up clothes and furniture!
Volunteer Your Time. This may be a little harder now during Covid-times, but I’m so glad to have the opportunity to volunteer my time at a local dog shelter. For this type of volunteering, I had to do a series of training in order to be able to volunteer, walk and handle the dogs on my own. If you run into a situation like this, and don’t have the training – look to see if there are other ways to give goods. The dog shelter I volunteer at has an Amazon Wish List and can always use dog treats, poop bags, and a variety of other necessities for the pups at the shelter. You can even order from Amazon and send directly to the shelter!
Host A Facebook Fundraiser. As much as I hate Facebook, this is a great and easy feature to have friends and family raise money and donate to a cause near and dear to your heart! Plus, Facebook covers all of the fees, so there isn’t any built in charges when you or your friends donate. If you don’t have Facebook, create your own fundraiser by sharing a web link to family and friends in lieu of presents for your special day!
Random Acts of Kindness. Whether it’s in the Starbucks drive thru by picking up the tab for the car behind you, or leaving a twenty at a local coffee shop to grab the next round of drinks — buying coffee for a stranger is an easy and simple way to bring a little sunshine to someone’s day! Another way to do this, is dropping off flowers to someone who might be having hard time, cooking a meal for someone in need, or maybe wheeling back your neighbors garbage cans!
Donate Blood. This one is definitely not for everyone – but as a first time blood donor this past week, the fear of donating has officially been faced and I finally took the jump. Now I’m in the system and can more easily know what to expect and give a couple times a year! Trust me, I nearly passed out, but it wasn’t that bad or time consuming in the grand scheme of things. The Red Cross always has a plethora of drives, and other opportunities to give back.
A few other ideas to sprinkle a little good into the world; pick up trash at a local park or along your street (safely of course), sending a card to a friend, draw a positive message with chalk along your sidewalk, or bringing your neighbors garbage cans up on trash day. I’ve found myself giving more monetary this year or through goods, since I’ve cut back on in-person volunteer hours. But, I have found in my time volunteering, especially with the dogs, I am able to do something I truly love, and through spending a few hours over a weekend giving the dogs a break from their kennels (or whatever your volunteering is) — it’s just good for the mind and soul.
With the last few days of Breast Cancer Awareness month among us, this past weekend we were able to attended the 7th Annual Pink Carpet Gala, which is held by the JD Breast Cancer Foundation, a foundation that I’ve been lucky enough to volunteer for the last 2+ years.
Along with the event being a fundraiser, it’s also a special day/night for a selected number of women who are battling/battled breast cancer. They’re pampered with hair and make-up along with being able to show off their gowns they were able to shop for and pick out! A night all glammed out, on the town, being celebrated for their bravery, their fight, and their positive outlook on it all. This year, three beautiful ladies were honored; and they couldn’t have been more deserving.
JD Breast Cancer Foundation’s main mission is to provide vital resources and support to enhance breast cancer survivorship in NEO. So anything from providing finical support for daily bills/necessities and counseling, to providing community resources and support, even transportation. JDBCF wants to help take off the daily burdens of life from the challenges faced when diagnosed and being treated for breast cancer.
The event was special for the honorees, and surprisingly special for myself as well! I was surprised with being named Volunteer of the Year – WOW! I was speechless, in shock and truly humbled. I have donated time and resources over the last few years, but I truly do it out of a place of giving back and wanting to help out, not ever expecting something back in return. It was very special.
The theme of the night was a casino night, so there were a number of table games up for grabs, including black jack, craps, and roulette… among others! The night ended with the lucky raffle prize winners being called for various prices like having a Tesla for 24-hours, an impressive booze basket (it was legit!) and a dream vacation. It was a great fundraiser for a organization with a genuine mission and fight to help those battling breast cancer.
It was another perfect summer weekend. The weather was gorgeous and the company was enjoyed. Friday night started with some porch drinks with our neighbors and a late dinner date! It was a great kickoff to the weekend.
Saturday morning we got up early to attend a yoga class and volunteer through our friends new venture, Yogatta Give Back. It’s a combination of yoga and volunteering. First you start with the class, followed by volunteering wherever the spot is, it’s a wide variety of places and causes. We volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, and spruced up their community area. It was the perfect morning outside!
Saturday night we attended our first wedding of 2017! It was a dear former co-workers wedding, and it was the perfect night for these two to tie the knot. They exchanged vows in front of a breathtaking back drop of endless views, and the reception was in a rustic and charming lodge on the property. We had breakfast for dinner and they made 150 mini cakes, of their cake, for guests to enjoy. The bride is an insane baker (Snicklefritz Bakeshop), and so is the groom, so decadent treats were of plenty! It was a sweet night for a very sweet couple, their love and the love of everyone attending was so evident!
Sunday was filled with some pampering, sunshine, neighbors and even a run! I can’t believe it was the last official weekend of June, another perfect one for summer.