The company I work for offers a few programs to encourage community involvement. Of course I volunteer because it’s a part of who I am but the company perks certainly are nice. You can find volunteer opportunities but also record them and at the end of the year based on the number of verified volunteer hours they give you a certain amount to donate to an organization of your choice. With my 202 volunteer hours last year I maxed out this benefit and get to give a serious chunk of cash to my favorite place! It’s really a nice reward to recognize all my hard work.
While I don’t do things for the acclaim it is an important part of self-care to allow yourself to be recognized by others and to take a minute to recognize yourself for all your work. Acclaim shouldn’t be sought out but should be welcomed. So I’m taking a moment to celebrate with my grant.
Then I realized I have to pick a charity. One charity. How do I choose? Local or global? Which important issue? Health? Environment? Education? So many good people doing good things!! The first rule I made is I’m not going to donate to any of the organizations I volunteered for so that rules out Special Olympics, Crisis Text Line, American Red Cross, Pantene Beautiful Lengths, 826LA, and Homeboy Industries. All fantastic organizations but they got my time last year.
So organizations started popping into my head. There is My Friend’s Place which I’ve worked with in the past and just love. The Los Angeles Library that keeps my city literate. To Write Love on Her Arms which is celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary. The Jane Goodall Institue that is a leader in conservation. The Girl Scouts, I was one when I was younger and loved it. Planned Parenthood a very important organization to women’s health in the US. WriteGirl another great local education organization. And other ones keep jumping into my head – RAIIN, UNICEF, Books for Africa, etc, etc.
I guess this is a fun thing to think about. I want to pick a charity by the end of the month. Comment or tweet me your thoughts on how to narrow down my choices or suggest an organization for me to add to my list!