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I just found out a friend whose daughter is an actress is giving back to the community in a big way.
Hometown girl does well and doesn’t lose sight of where she came from. It’s a great story.
It got me thinking…
I have friends in broadcast media and despite the glamorous aspects of the job, one would be surprised just how labor intensive a profession it is. The camera time is the least amount of their work. They are continually called upon to give speeches, visit schools, attend fundraisers and more. It’s actually a fulfilling yet exhaustive career.
People tend to believe because individuals are celebrities they should be held to a higher degree of philanthropy. I disagree. At the end of the day, they have work, families, commitments, ailments, and problems just like the rest of the world.
What I subscribe to is we all be held to that higher level of generous accountability.
I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking they are famous and they are rich. They owe it to the world. When you realize just how inundated they are with requests, you grasp that by nature constant charitable involvement is a part of their daily life. They can make a difference because of their profession and the majority do.
If we call upon them to be charitably generous because we believe it’s easier for them to make a difference, should we not consider calling upon ourselves?
And if so, how do we incorporate a philanthropic checklist into our lives and give back like a celebrity this holiday season?
1. Enlist a Personal Assistant:
Celebrities have PR people, publicists, and managers who field their philanthropic requests. Imagine a week in their lives, sitting with their staff and going over the vast list of charitable demands.
It is not possible to fulfill the volume which they receive; therefore, they widdle the list down to a manageable load and often choose the charities which speak to them. Perhaps a hometown school, a cause which has touched their family or a personal passion.
Most of us give to the people we know the best and the standard holiday causes.
Take a moment to truly comprehend rifling through requests from strangers, acquaintances, friends of family, friends of friends, and colleagues all over the country and the world.
How would you choose?
Hold yourself to this type of charitable accountability. Enlist the help of a family member or friend and together compile a list of possible charitable giving or actions. Think about everyone you know. Does a sick neighbor need help purchasing and putting up a tree? Does an elderly person need a ride to church? Does a financially struggling friend need a few gift cards to get through the holiday? Does a friend of a friend need help caring for their parent?
Think large and outside of the box in terms of who and what to include on the list not necessarily in dollars or time, but in the comprehensive scale of the needy. How diverse is your list? Are there many types of people? Family, friends, neighbors, strangers, community members? Are there a some which may take a few hours and dollars or a whole day and a few dollars more to get done? Then decide individually and/or as a family what things you will do this holiday season.
2. Think About Your Own Personal Charitable Value:
The reason society expects so much from celebrities is because their mere presence can increase event attendance, raise more money and/or more awareness.
What is your shelf value?
What do you do professionally which can add value to someone’s life over the holidays? What hobby or past-time could permit you to easily give to another human being in the month of December? Then be personally generous in that manner.
A nurse can be health generous and a teacher education generous and a chef food generous. They can use these talents easily to impact others. A nurse can sit with a family member and help with home care. A teacher can tutor a child to save a family money to go towards Christmas. A chef can prepare food for someone short on cash.
A person who loves to sew could make new stockings for a family. An artist could help a child create a piece of art for their parents. A photographer could take family pictures for cards. A computer techie could help a struggling community business elevate their presence via a website or social media.
We should all give prolifically what is easiest for us to give. Our talents become effortless in our individual worlds and can provide great relief to those who find those same areas challenging.
3. Become the Face of a Charity:
When a celebrity agrees to become the face of a charity it is no small commitment.
Choose a cause and make a personal pledge to be the face of that charity for the next year.
This will require your charitable devotion. Not a one-time single donation, not a one-time event, but thoughtful dedication dispersed throughout the year until the following December.
It will become a higher attention advocacy in your own world.
Once you choose what is most important to you, then determine within that organization how you can help throughout the calendar year. For instance, if it is a rescue league you might donate dog food one month, help at an adoption event the next month, promote adoptable dogs via social media the next, help at a fundraiser the next, and so on.
If you decide senior care is your passion, you may select an assisted living facility and eat lunch with residents one day and the next month volunteer to lead a craft and the next month ask who has the least visitors and spend time with that person.
4. Give Back in Your Own Backyard:
Many celebrities feel a strong attachment to their hometown and to the causes therein.
This is a great model of giving for every person.
The truth? It is difficult to keep up with our well-intentioned philanthropy so implementing it in your own backyard improves the likelihood you will stick with it.
We all have philanthropic delusions of grandeur, handing out blankets to the homeless, and helping in the soup kitchens of large cities. If you live in the city these are great ideas. If not, find the people who need blankets and food in your community. Believe me, they are there. You just have to find them through the churches, women’s centers and other organizations.
Even better? Add in the neighbors you know who are needy. Who are sick or in some type of life transition, who are caring for an elderly parent while working full-time and bring them a meal. Buy them something to help care for themselves.
The needs in our own backyard are easiest to fulfill and can be the most fulfilling.
5. Give Away Your Good Stuff:
Celebrities receive many valuable perks in the form of merchandise and often, give it away to friends and family or donate it.
What ‘good stuff’ do you have to pass along to another?
No, not the typical donating of raggedy old clothes or household items. The ones you clean out your closet to rid yourself of more than authentically give just to give.
Of course, when you select the good stuff it is important to make sure it ends up with the intended recipient. When donating to larger organizations some things may get picked through by people other than the recipients first. So find a women’s shelter or other organization which allows you to give directly to those there or ask your church who in the community could use items which may revamp their house or wardrobe.
The types of things which will perk them up rather than remind them they are receiving other people’s hand me downs while they are down on their luck.
If you own a small business, take this time to donate excess stock or other items. Take children’s books and read at a local library or hospital before donating them.
These are just a few suggestions to give in a more intensive, continual and diverse way this December.
It isn’t as easy as it seems to give back like a celebrity…
but famous, infamous or not…
It’s a charitable challenge we should all welcome.
(Photos Courtesy of Pexels)
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