Thanks to Medtronic for sponsoring this post and encouraging others to give back!
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be a philanthropist? To approach an organization doing good and just drop like 50 grand in their lap? I mean how amazing would it be to be a part of something doing that much good–to get to be that generous and really make a difference in the world?
I may never get to experience being that generous, but there are so many ways I–an ordinary wife, mom, and woman– can give back. Right now, there is something really cool going on called the Bakken Invitation Program. Medtronic’s founder, Earl Bakken, began the program to promote philanthropic work and giving back, especially by those who have been given a second lease on life. Ten honorees from all over the world that have overcome incredible health challenges recieved a grant of $20,000 toward their charitable work! These folks, just when they had a right to curl up and cocoon themselves away, did just the opposite. They gave.
One of my favorite honorees, David had to undergo a crazy, scary surgery (read more about him here) and as he was wheeled in he thought “What is your legacy? How will you be remembered by your kids?” That thought inspired him to start living his legacy by founding the IronHeart racing team empower and educate others to live a heart-healthy life!
“Success can be determined based on three pillars of how you live your life. First is family. Next is your career. Finally, there is your greater community. Success comes with commitment. Are you providing a safe, nurturing sustainable environment? Do you show love? Do you show dedication? It’s not about working 100 hours a week. Instead, it’s about your actions in the time allowed. Be present in the moment. Live your legacy.”
Those words really hit me because I became a mom this year. And I don’t want to put my life on hold for my daughter–I want to live it fully and well because of her! I want her to have a legacy and example of generosity and faith in big and small ways. I have loved giving back to the many communities I’ve lived in by volunteering. I think it’s hugely important, but honestly it is hard at this stage of my life; but, even so I can find simple ways to give on and live on–leaving a legacy for my daughter.
5 Simple Ways to Give Back This Christmas
1. Donate to a local food pantry. It is so easy to throw a few extra groceries in the cart for a local pantry or many groceries have gift cards available that you can just scan and they automatically make a donation to a local pantry. Cost: $5-10 Time: 0-10 minutes (I already get groceries and go to a church with a food pantry so it literally takes me no extra time.)
2. Pick up trash when you’re out on a walk or run. I HATE when people throw trash on the ground! Whenever I’m on a walk I try to grab a plastic grocery bag so I can nab trash if I see it while I’m walking. If you have a dog or baby this is especially easy because you are probably carrying a bag anyways. Cost: $0 Time: 0-2 minutes
3. Be a part of a fundraising event (like a run or dinner) as a volunteer or participant. In a previous job, I planned a charity run and while I loved the big sponsors, I was so incredibly grateful for EVERY participant and every volunteer holding a dixie cup of water! I especially loved the ones who recruited all their friends and family to come with them! In your community there might be spaghetti dinners for the fire dpeartment or fundraising concerts for the school band. Go to those things and enjoy the fun while giving back! Cost: $10-25 (but you’ve got to eat, run races, and buy flowers, anyways right?) Time: 1-3 hours
4. Buy Christmas gifts for a local family or child. Last year my office took our Christmas party fund and used most of it to shop for presents for a local family that hit a rough spot. It was so much fun to shop and wrap presents together and know that we were blessing this family in an incredible way! Getting gifts for a whole family may be a big financial commitment, but you can make a difference for one child. There are lots of angel trees and toy donation boxes around right now. How about picking up one extra toy while you shop? Cost: $15+ Time: 30 minutes-2 hours
5. Pack an Operation Christmas Child box. This is a holiday tradition in our house and we love kicking off November (the gifts have already been shipped this year) looking for the perfect little gifts for a child overseas. Nate and I actually filled our shoebox during our November date night! It was fun picking out little things for a child who otherwise would have nothing. Cost: $25 Time: 30 minutes-1 hour
$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway
Not only did Medtronic give the honorees $20,000 to help support their foundations, but it is teaming up with me to give YOU a chance to win a $100 gift card to be used to make a positive impact in your community! Isn’t that awesome! I kind of feel like Oprah!
To enter please comment and tell me which story most inspired you and how you give back to your loved ones and community.
Winner will be drawn at random on December 29th. Must be 18 to enter and have valid U.S. mailing address.
The giveaway is now closed. Winner is commenter #12, Tara @ DailyDoseofFit chosen via random.org. Thanks for participating!