For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed giving back to the community and helping others. This isn’t something I do for praise or to brag about, it’s just something that matters to me and I truly have fun with. There are a million charitable organizations, ways to volunteer, brands to support and ways to take action that slowly but surely make a difference in the world. Some of my favorites:
Join a Young Professionals Board
This has by far been my best decision since moving to New York City three years ago. I joined the Pajama Program’s young professionals board as a committee member, and I now co-chair the Board (!!!). I couldn’t be happier or more honored for the commitment. A YPB – called different things depending on the organization – is a group of young professionals who work together to support the organization. The goals are primarily two-fold: fundraising and raising awareness. Both are done with events. I’ve made some of my favorite NYC friends this way, and get to host/attend really fun events in the name of charity.
Volunteer Your Time
I’ll admit most of my volunteer work is through Pajama Program, meaning I read to children at ACS twice a month after work. It’s something I look forward to every time. Also, New York Cares is one of my favorite, most-used apps on my phone. If I have a free evening after work, I’ll see if there are any volunteer opportunities around that I can take part in. You learn about different causes this way, and you also get to meet new people. Another way to volunteer is to get involved with your friends/coworkers nonprofit interests. If someone else is volunteering somewhere, or has an event for a cause, go with them! That’s actually how we’ve gotten a lot of our Pajama Program YPB members…through friends of friends.
Make a Donation
This is my most lacking category. However, if you can’t make a donation, attend an event where your cover is donation, or shop in places like the ones listed below.
Shop with Social Consciousness
I bought my SeaDipped shell bracelet to save baby sea turtles. My AUrate New York stackable rings each provide a book to a child in NYC’s literacy program. My The Little Market beach towel and 31Bits woven cross-body bag support the female artisans who made them in small villages around the world. Cuyana recycles clothing and accessories to women around the world. (Red) products go to AIDS research. I’ve switched all of my beauty and makeup products to be made with cruelty-free, natural ingredients. AllBirds shoelaces are made from recycled plastic bottles. While all of these causes are quite different, I’d rather support a brand who gives back than one who partakes in child labor or animal testing when I can.
Be Environmentally Conscious
I LIVE FOR THIS. Get out in nature. When you connect with the world, you feel a. better about life and b. more protective over it. Food is the easiest category to start with for eliminating your amount of waste: switch to reusable items, such as to-go mugs, S’well bottles, Tupperware, lunch box, stainless steel straws and totes for grocery shopping. What you can’t eliminate, dispose of properly.