Sunday, January 9, 2011

Giving Back

Giving back is a big thing for me - helping others, making a difference in this world. I now work for a non-profit that encourages young women to empower themselves while helping the globe (The 10thousandgirl Campaign). I love that - Let's help ourselves to learn more, improve ourselves, strive toward our potential while giving some of our excess resources to those who can change their lives with it.

I know I am very blessed. I have a safe home to live in, a family that love me, food on the table, clean water coming out of the tap, access to health care and education, and the freedom to choose what I want to do with my life. I read somewhere a few years ago, that if you have a computer and a bank account, you're in the top 1% (I think) of people in the world. Well, I've got those things and and an iPhone, iPod, credit card, camera, a white gold ring and designer make-up.

Now, I don't think I should feel guilty about having nice things in my life. And you shouldn't either. A bit of luxury and convenience here and there is fine. But it's when it gets out of control and you have to have the latest Burkin bag or the newest technology gadget that comes out, and you start taking what you have for granted, that maybe it's time to look around and put things in perspective. But that's for you to decide.

There is a lot going on in the world that is sometimes hard to face. Starving children, suppressed women, cruelty to animals and flora and fauna species going out of existence to name but a few. Not many of us are able to give up everything and go on a physical crusade to make a difference, and I really admire those who can. But does that mean we can't do anything from where we are? I've put a few suggestions further down the page.

Why do we want to help others? On the selfish side, helping others makes you feel good. But on the giving side, your actions, even small ones, can make the world a better place. In my opinion, its better to do something than to do nothing at all, but that's me. You need to make up your own mind.

My boss showed me this amazing poem that made me really stop and think:
“It’s 3:23 in the morning
and I'm awake because
my great-great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep.

My great-great grandchildren
ask me in dreams
What did you do
while the planet
was plundered?

What did you do
when the Earth
was unraveling?

Surely you did something
when the seasons
started failing,

as the mammals, reptiles,
birds were all dying.

Did you
fill the streets
with protest when
democracy was stolen?

What did you do once you knew?

It’s 3:23 in the morning
and I'm awake because
my great-great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep.

What did you do once you knew?"

- Drew Dellinger
How can you give back?
Turn your compassion, thoughts and prayers towards others who need them.
Buy fair trade products - Fair Trade Australia
Sponsor a child or a village - to make yourself comfortable with knowing where the money goes, check out the charity's annual report.
Go on a Volunteer Holiday
Donate microloans through Opportunity International or Kiva
Volunteer your time at a local charity
Give Charity Gift Vouchers with Karma Currency
Here are some other ideas from an article I read:

the Cure Cancer Foundation’s Cure Kringle campaign (, which invites supporters to avoid buying novelty items and instead make a donation towards cancer research. It’s a pretty good idea – one that makes you feel good and one that could also potentially contribute to a cure for cancer.

But there are also plenty of other places to make donations, or buy charitable gifts ranging from mosquito nets for developing countries, to ducks, chickens, fish farms or the gift of sight. These include World Vision, Oxfam, TEAR Australia, Charity Gifts, Karma Currency and the Fred Hollows Foundation.

What will you do once you knew?

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

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