give back.

by Mindy @ Just A One Girl Revolution on June 9, 2011

in Uncategorized

Giving back to organizations you believe in is something near and dear to my heart.  I even got my master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership because it’s something I love so much.  There are so many non-profit organizations I love and support how I can because I am passionate about their mission.

As I sat at the Enrichment Dinner last night for the donors to my alma mater, I was surrounded by some of the most generous, philanthropic families in Grand Rapids.  It gets intimidating to think of the millions upon millions of dollars they’ve given away to one cause or another.  If you look around the city, there are numerous buildings named after these families.  At the dinner, they announced that a four year fundraising campaign launched in 2007 raised over $93 million for the University.  NINETY-THREE.  MILLION.  Certainly, the giving spirit of the big name families in our city made an impact in that.

I don’t have that kind of money and I’m 99.99% certain I never will unless I win the lottery.  Which will be hard, seeing as how I don’t play the lottery.  Key problem.  The thing is though, that there were a lot of other people in that room who don’t have that kind of money either.  It’s not just the major donors that made the campaign, it’s that paired with the people that only had $20 to give that made a successful campaign.

If you’re like me and the money tree hasn’t started growing in your backyard, there are so many ways you can still help an organization you believe in.  Just a few:

  • ANY little bit makes a difference.  If you can only afford $5 right now, that’s still going to in some way, shape, or form, make a difference.  Mocha Club is excellent at this:  all they ask for is $7 a month or the cost of two mochas.
  • Focus.  Off the top of my head, I could easily list a couple dozen organizations I would love to support financially.  But, at the end of the day, I can’t help them all and still provide for myself.  Pick a couple organizations you’re most passionate about and focus on what you can do there.
  • Make a pledge.  Most organizations have the capability for you to make a significant financial contribution by giving just a little every month; additionally, it can usually be automatically deducted from your bank account.  If you want to give a $500 donation, it would be just $10 a month for a little over four years.
  • Company matching.  Are you in the working world?  See if your company has a matching gift program – for what amount you give, they might give the same organization the same amount.  Sadly, my company doesn’t do matching gifts or I’d be all over that!
  • Get others involved.  Sign up to fund raise by talking to people in your life and asking them to donate.  Not only does this raise money for the organization, but it’s a great way to share their mission.  Girls on the RunRelay for Life, and Team in Training are just a few that operate under this method.
  • Time.  If you can’t give financially right now, can you give your time?  Contact the organization(s) you’re interested in and see what volunteer opportunities are available, whether it’s a one-time thing or a weekly occurrence.  Odds are, if you’ve got time, they’ll find something for you to do.

Any other ideas?

I ate my cereal out of a bowl big enough I could have gone for a swim in this morning.  For what it’s worth, I did have more than two Frosted Mini-Wheats.  Everything else just disappeared into the almond milky abyss.

I kept breakfast light this morning because I had something more important in mind:  rum cake!  This thing is to die for.  Plus, who doesn’t need a cake with some rum in it at 10 in the morning?!

Clearly, I do because I had not one, but two slices.  It’s the last one my office is going to get…a girl’s gotta make the most of it!  Plus, it makes the work day that much more enjoyable. 😉

Okay, there’s not that much rum in there to really get to me.  At least, I don’t think there is?!

Come lunchtime, two slices of cake kept me more than full.  I made up a bagelwich.

Peanut butter and jelly?  Awesome.

Peanut butter and honey?  Awesome.

Peanut butter, jelly, and honey?  Not quite as awesome.  Oh well, like Alanis Morissette says, you live, you learn.

Which is better with peanut butter – jelly or honey?

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Cynthia (It All Changes) June 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Honey. I hated peanut butter and jelly as a kid and would freak out if my mom mixed up my brother’s sandwich with mine.
Cynthia (It All Changes) recently posted..Puppy Chow for People Giveaway

Mindy June 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Great post Mindy. I always love reading your blog for the great recipes and inspirational messages, but this post in particular resonated with me.

We can all make a difference, whether we have a money tree, or maybe even just a penny tree in our backyards. I’m hoping my tree continues to thrive and prosper, but until then, I know that what I do give, matters.

You’re an inspiration in so many ways…

Kristie June 10, 2011 at 10:15 am

PB + Banana + Cinnamon. But most of the time I just do PB&J because it’s easiest :).

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