Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Je Ne Sais Quoi: Giving Back (a fundraiser for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer)

That generosity is a quality of exceptional women goes without saying. Of course a charitable habit would be part of the alluring attraction of je ne sais quoi.

The trouble is figuring out how to give...

I was just reading an article about how volunteerism and charity have evolved over the past twenty years. No longer do we as a culture have an army of stay-at-home moms ready and able to donate hours of their time to noble causes. We're busier. We work more. And because of the recession, we have less money to give.

Which is why I have been feeling a little guilty lately. There are so many needs--Haitian earthquake relief, AIDS orphans in Africa, my local food bank--but my time and money aren't always easy to give.

Which is why earlier this year I started searching for opportunities to give back that fit within my particular set of skills (craftiness, for instance). Because I want to be charitable, but I don't exactly have the deep pockets of a philanthropist.

I do, however, have a stash of baby blankets that I made last year just sitting in my house. A house, I might add, that does not have any babies in it. So when my friend asked if I would be interested in donating something to her team's Avon Walk for Breast Cancer fundraising event, I knew immediately that I could help.

Tucked within this little anecdote is a principle that I LOVE to talk about: resourcefulness. I've mentioned it plenty of times in the past, usually referring to updating used clothing or making clever recipes from pantry misfits. But resourcefulness works just as well for charity, too.

The key, I think, is to start by asking what you have that you can give. I, for instance, don't have much discretionary cash, but I do have baby blankets. And my friend--the one raising money--can walk for a good cause. And that's just the tip of the iceberg:

Knitters can donate socks to the homeless.
Quilters can make quilts for sick kids.
Bankers can offer financial reviews for single moms.
Social butterflies can use their facebook and twitter accounts to spread the news about needs.

In other words, there are a million and one ways to give back, even for a busy, cash-strapped person. All you need is a little creativity, a resourceful eye...

...and a little je ne sais quoi.

To learn more about the "Wine*Music*Massage fundraiser" happening on Tuesday, May 4th, click here! I'd love to see you there!

What is your favorite way to give back? Share by posting your comments below!

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