It is already day 6 of my 29-Day Giving Challenge! The challenge is to give away something every day, for 29 days. Thanks to Britt Bravo, I started at a time that leads up to Thanksgiving as a fitting way to celebrate the season. Join me!
I wanted to take a minute to catch you up on my challenge progress.
Day 3 (Nov. 1)
Last week as a big one in our house (flat, actually). I had a long list of items left on my to-do list and I expected, Friday night, to be working on them for a good chunk of Saturday. As many of you have experienced yourselves, I’m sure, it can be pretty easy for people like us who are passionate about what they do, excited to get involved, and happy to help to get over-committed. Or, at least, have too many items on the to-do list. Since moving here in September, it has been a personal goal of mine to avoid establishing a pattern of work-aholicism, but I haven’t kept the goal front-and-center. So, Saturday, I decided to give time and attention.
I gave up my whole day to whatever ELSE there was besides work. I didn’t get online at all. Instead, I spent time with my husband and our friend, ‘vegged out’ to some old episodes of The Office, and went to a play at the Hampstead Theatre. It sounds very silly and selfish, but it felt great to push aside the laptop and give a full day to people and things that I love.
Day 4 (Nov. 2)
Dining for Women is a nonprofit organization that I really like:
Dining for Women is a dinner giving circle. We “dine in” together once a month, each bringing a dish to share, and our “dining out” dollars are sent to international programs empowering women.
Through support of international grass-roots programs in education, healthcare, vocational training, micro-credit loans and economic development, and through our members’ combined donations, we encourage women to believe they can improve their living situations.
Education is an integral part of our mission. DFW believes that through education, our members become agents of change, capable of altering the face of world poverty.
As a new fundraising mechanism, DFW is offering beautiful charity boxes with the organization’s logo on them. “This project was conceived and designed exclusively for DFW by the Ithaca chapter– for the nationwide DFW membership. It is a collaboration with The Zanger Company (Gloria Smith), importer of Polish Stoneware, and the women of the Ceramika Artystyczna Factory in Poland.”
I purchased a charity box for my mother – the person who first taught me about giving. I can’t wait for it to arrive to her door!
Day 5 (Nov. 3)
Yesterday, I received an email from DonorsChoose.org wrapping up the Bloggers Challenge from last month. I clicked through to my account and decided to check in on projects I had selected. Many were fully-funded and the campaigns were thus closed. The project I donated to during the challenge, was still in need, though. So, I decided to give again.
Why? The project is something very close to home for me – digital storytelling. Right now, I’m in the middle of quite a few conversations, idea-sharing, and email exchanges discussing the use of video and storytelling for organizations, conferences, and more. The power of a video, a message coming directly from those being served, is incredible. And in this proposal from a teacher in South Carolina, we can help a classroom of elementary school students start telling stories digitally, too. Check it out – and if you are able, help them out!
Day 6 (Nov. 4)
Today, Tuesday, November 4, 2008, is the US Election. GO VOTE!
What did I give today? I gave my voice, my political contribution, my commitment to the future. Voting is the easiest, truest way to show patriotism. Participating in the process is the best way to start engaging with your neighbors, your community, your country.
I actually already voted, because I had to mail the ballot a while ago to ensure it made it from London in time. But today I am using all the powers I have to get out the vote. Giving away my Facebook status to my time.
This is one of the most important elections you will probably ever participate in given the current issues facing our country and the timeline we require for answers and action. I, obviously, would love to have the candidate I voted for take office in January. But today, that isn’t what is most important to me: I just want you to vote. Please.