Friday, December 6, 2019

All The Ways To Give

I attended a remarkable memorial service a few months ago for a most remarkable man, and it is still affecting me. After hearing the story of this self-made billionaire and philanthropist from the many who eulogized him, it is clear that Mort Mandel fully participated in every one of his 98 years, right up to his last breath, and in doing so, enriched the lives of so many. In a quote from his 2013 book "It's All About Who" he said, "I think of the world as having a huge number of candles and only a small percentage are lit. I devoted a big part of my life to lighting as many candles as I can. To light a candle is to make the world a better place."  The things Mr. Mandel did for others went far beyond his financial generosity, and during this season of giving, his example has inspired me to think about the many ways we can light a few candles, even if we don't have the financial wherewithal of a wealthy entrepreneur. Here are some ways to give that go beyond a monetary donation.

Every single one of us has something we can teach someone. If you have strong communication skills, you could work with someone who struggles with social anxiety or has difficulty being “heard”. Perhaps you have killer social media skills.
Teach someone you work with how to improve their online brand.Tutor a child. Give a music lesson. The best thing about sharing knowledge is that you can give it away and still have everything you started with.

We all have a lot of stuff that we just don't use, or need. But where to begin? There’s a very cool charity called GiveBackBox that makes it easy to donate, while being “green”. Here's a quick summary: The next time you get an Amazon delivery, save the box. Then, fill it with your unwanted items, such as gently used clothing, shoes toys, or household goods. Go to GiveBackBox and print a prepaid shipping label. Attach the label to your box and drop it at a UPS store -or wherever you ship your items, and off it goes to make a difference in the life of another person. Find out more HERE

There are so many wonderful organizations in your community that need help. If you love animals you can walk dogs or cuddle with kittens in your free time. Stuff envelopes, file, or help with administrative duties in the office of a non-profit you believe in. Serve food at a local food pantry. If you need ideas, this website Northeast Ohio Family Fun has a ton of volunteer suggestions.

Blood donations can help save people's lives. Right now, in the time you are reading this, someone, somewhere is greatly in need of blood. It truly is the gift of life.
Visit The American Red Cross to learn more about blood donation.

Share (the love)Facebook has a wonderful Fundraiser feature that lets you raise money for your favorite non-profit and makes it easy for your friends to just click and donate--with money going straight to the charity. You can also use Go Fund Me or other free crowd-sourcing sites to raise money for your own cause--maybe you know of a family that needs help with medical bills or perhaps you learn of another worthy cause. Once you set it up, you can use any one of the many social media platforms to spread the word. Pay It Forward For Pets.
This organization does tremendous work to improve the lives of pets--and people! One of my particular favorites is a wonderful local animal welfare non-profit,

Whether through money, time, or talent, may we all be inspired light a few candles to spread whatever light we can, for as long as we can.

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