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My first job out of college was for a non-profit organization and part of my job was raising money. Oh, how I sucked at sales. Memberships, advertising, sponsorships? I was terrible at that.
“No? Ok then, thank you, bye.”
Until? I found a cause I believed in. And then I pounded the pavement, sold the event and the chance to support high school students and I brought in money. Because it mattered. It mattered to me and I could make it matter to the business people with the purse strings.
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I work in the corporate world now. Some days, I miss the non-profit, small staff charm and feeling of directly impacting a community. I’m lucky that part of my job now is filtering donation requests and planning our annual 5K that supports a local charity.
Chessa & Craig at our company’s 2010 5K. (ahh…she was still such a baby.)
Every year I’ve looked out into the crowd as I was making the final announcements about winners, finishing times and how much money was raised to see my family: My father and father-in-law who work the water station; my mother and mother-in-law who bring the kids to the event and my husband who recruits his football team to serve as volunteers. My children are too young to realize this, but these events, and their presence at these events… It matters.
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A few weeks ago, I sent a text to a friend that said “Motherhood has softened me; I just bought a box of $10 popcorn from an adorable boy scout.” The box is still sitting, unopened, in my pantry. I didn’t buy it because I had a craving for popcorn. I bought it because my $10 mattered.
Giving back to the community can be done in so many ways. Your efforts don’t have to be big to be meaningful. Here are a few to try:
- Sign up to read books at a local library.
- Volunteer with an organization who’s missing you support
- Run (or if you’re more like me, walk) in a 5 or 10K
- Buy Boy Scout popcorn or Girl Scout cookies. (Come on? Do you really need a reason do this?)
- Join a Rotary Club, a Chamber of Commerce or a local non-profit organization’s board of directors. You’ll get to plan events, brainstorm ways to fundraise and be creative!
- Look through your old clothes, your kids’ clothes and your cabinets – the stuff that is in perfectly good condition but just doesn’t get used? Donate it!
The opportunities are endless. The reasons are endless. But know that when you do support the community you live in… It matters.
What are you doing to give back? I’d love for you to share in the comments!
Don’t forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.