December 2nd is the second annual GivingTuesday in Canada. Heard of it? It’s a movement to remind us all that we can use our money to do amazing things, not just for stuff.
How I’m getting involved:
December 2nd also happens to be both the anniversary of my mother’s death, and the birthday of young cousin (whose mother won’t let me post his picture on the internet, but I promise you he is super cute). So in their honour, this year I’m giving to two charities that relate to motherhood:
Jessie’s Centre is a local charity that helps pregnant teens and young parents with education, healthcare, housing, jobs, and parenting skills. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it would be to raise a child as a teen – particularly without the support of family or sometimes a partner. I recently had the opportunity to visit the centre, and tour their in-house high school and childcare centre. They do good things, but they could do even more with more support.
Women’s reproductive health is really important to me, and I respect that Jessie’s Centre gives young women help and options, and if they choose to become mothers, ensures they can still go on to do all the things they want to do in their lives.
I’m also giving to AMREF Canada’s Stand Up for Mothers program. Children around the world grow up without mothers because women don’t have access to adequate healthcare. 162,000 mothers died in pregnancy and childbirth in Africa in 2010. That’s 56% of all maternal deaths worldwide. 950,000 children were left without a mother because she died giving birth to a brother or sister. That’s fucking ridiculous, guys. AMREF is aiming to train 15,000 midwives by 2015 to help save women’s lives. This is a problem we can solve.
You can do GivingTuesday too!
- You can give money to a charity that does awesome work. I promise you, they always need your money. I gravitate towards smaller charities, but choose what suits you best. Here are some tips from my friend Andrea, which are awesome, like she is.
- Fundraise for a charity. My aunt and I both did this for our birthdays – look how cute we are!
- You can perform random acts of kindness. Buy someone on the street lunch. Offer to babysit a friend’s kids so he/she can get a break. Visit a home for the aged and spend some time with seniors who don’t always get enough visitors. Do something awesome for someone else, and encourage others to do the same.
- You can volunteer. Attend Timeraiser’s special GivingTuesday event in Toronto to find a charity that is looking for skilled volunteers, visit volunteer.ca to search for a charity to contribute your skills to, or just call up a local charity like a food bank or shelter and offer your time. My friend Leslie and I met reps from the Native Women’s Resource Centre at a summer Timeraiser event, and ended up working on their annual report – something they needed help with and we were interested in doing.
- You can send charity gift cards to people you love (or even people you barely know, if that’s your scene) to inspire them to give.
- You can read this blog on Playground confidential about ways you can give, or any of these awesome GivingTuesday posts on GivingLife.
- You can watch the video about ways to participate.
- You can give blood. I went with my office recently, and not only was it super easy and painless, they give you cookies at the end. Basically my dream.
- You can be loud on the internet on Tuesday and get everyone involved. #GivingTuesdayCA #Unselfie
GivingTuesday isn’t going to solve all the world’s problems in a single day, but the bigger it gets, the more we can remind people that giving back needs to be part of our lives.
*Note: Though my work involves charities and GivingTuesday, this blog is entirely my own opinion and about my personal connections to charities.