Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes, and General Mental Mayhem

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thumb_img_5861_1024It’s #GivingTuesday! Now that you’ve done all your shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (and possibly started before or on Thanksgiving), it’s time to turn your attention toward generosity.

#GivingTuesday has been around since 2012, and I’m so glad that it has. I love that there is a day set aside to celebrate the abundance that many of us have. If you’re already on email lists for nonprofits and social good companies, you’ve likely already started hearing from them, either for #GivingTuesday or for their year-end giving campaigns.

I encourage you to think about how you can support your favorite causes and organizations this holiday season. They’re doing important work, and it can be very meaningful to be a part of their mission. And every dollar really does count.

If you don’t already have a plan in place, or know where you’d like to donate, let me tell you about a few of my favorites:

  • Atlanta Dream Center: They protect and support the Atlanta area’s most vulnerable populations, including the homeless, at-risk children and women who have been trafficked or prostituted. I have been a volunteer with their anti-trafficking ministry for the past three years, and love their holistic approach to problems.
  • Habitat for Humanity: They provide safe, affordable homes to individuals and families around the world. Habitat is a solution to the global housing crisis, and while I’ve always had great respect for the organization, it’s in overdrive now that I’ve learned so much more about them. Many of you have probably participated in volunteer activities on their behalf, but they also always need funding.
  • Be the Bridge: This budding organization utilizes resources and conversations to further racial reconciliation. They believe that the Church must become a bigger answer to this issue, and are equipping people to host racially diverse small groups that create open lines of communication.  We should not be having the “race conversation” as only white people or only black people, but as friends and Christians. My friend, Latasha, started this organization because she was willing to have the awkward, but necessary conversations, and build bridges that foster healing. It’s important and timely work.
  • TrueNorth: My friend, Anne, started this organization just a couple of years ago after working with women who had been trafficked and prostituted. She decided that she wanted to work more “upstream” to focus on more of the source and start of the issues, rather than toward the end when women had already been abused. I think that is a terrific strategy! So, she is creating resources and providing information to help individuals and families navigate a sex-saturated culture.
  • Refuge Coffee Company: I love this place. It was started a few years back by my friend, Kitti, and supports the Clarkston community and refugees. Clarkston has been declared by CNN as the most diverse square mile in America. They exist to serve the global community in Clarkston through coffee-related job creation, job training, social networking, and commerce. And by the way, the coffee is terrific!

And, for a more unusual suggestion, take a look around your house to see if you have any gift cards you haven’t used, or have a seemingly unusable balances. You probably do, and I did too. So, check out Gift Card Giver. Whether you have the full amount, a few dollars, or even a few cents left on the card, they can put it to good use! Of course, keep this in mind for after Christmas morning as well.

Happy giving!