Armchair Activism Doesn’t Count as Doing Good

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The world as we know it is coming to an end. Well no, maybe not actually coming to an end, but there is plenty of turmoil and angst to go around. While many are contributing to the upheaval, there has also been a surge in goodwill amongst people as well. There are some who wholeheartedly wish to do their part in trying to make this a better world. Unfortunately, these people are also lazy. These are the armchair activists. Sharing a link to a good cause, retweeting a powerful message, hashtagging to spread awareness… sure it sounds nice, but is that actually doing anything to help? Most likely not. Remember #BringBackOurGirls? Or #IStandWithStandingRock? Yeah, a lot of good those tweets did to create real solutions. So what can YOU do? Plenty. First, you have to figure out where you want to help – the rest will come easy.

How To Choose The Charity That Is Right For You
There is a never-ending amount of charities, good causes, and missions all over the world, in every state, and in every city, so finding one shouldn’t be all that difficult. Ask yourself, what are your passions? Do you feel strongly about animals? Poverty? Do have a strong political stance? Take a step back and think about what good you would like to see in the world. Where does your attention lie? Take a note from Dan Pallotta, creator of Breast Cancer 3-Day Walks and AIDS Rides that raised millions, anyone can make a difference. “I want people to consider themselves a philanthropist no matter how much or how little they are giving. Even if you are giving $25, you are still a philanthropist. I advise people to figure out what cause they want to have an impact on, and take time doing research to find out the organization they feel is doing the best work on that problem. Then, make them your charitable partner for life,” says Pallotta to the TED Blog.

Once you have nailed down where you would like to put your efforts, there’s a slew of different ways you can make more of an impact than just clicking and sharing. From the hands-on activist to the check writer, there’s something for every giving heart.

Contribute Financially
Although many would say it is the easiest way to help out, financially supporting a charity can help set the groundwork for all the positive things that can come from such an organization. Writing a check, donating a sizable amount, or even just collecting your daily pocket change can all be viable ways to give back. Charities may provide services to others who don’t have such means, but they need funding to be able to do such things, so your money can help others even if it’s not coming directly from your hands. Your pennies can a long way to help an organization helping those less fortunate. If you’re too busy, too far, or even too shy, financially contributing can make a world of difference without much effort on your end. Find out if your employer has a foundation or charity where they match contributions. Check out how to make your dollar count here.

Volunteer Your Time
Writing a check may be the easiest way to lend a hand, but it’s not always an option if you don’t have any wiggle room in your personal budget. The most fundamental (and cheapest) way of giving back is to volunteer. At the root of volunteering is time – the most precious gift we receive each and every day. What could be more valuable than giving your time to a greater good?! The only question is, where do you spend your time? From reading to small children to building a home with your own two hands, there are an unlimited amount of places you can volunteer your time. A great tool to help you search for where to get started is VolunteerMatch. Here you can find any and all kinds of organizations that would love to have every minute you can spare. Your time can stretch further than any dollar, good, or like whether it is an hour a week or hours every day.

Donate Goods
One of the most popular ways of contributing to a cause is by donating goods. Used clothing, furniture, household items, and even your old car, are all items that may be extraordinarily beneficial to someone in need. Your interests in giving back may lead you toward or organization that helps clothe people living in impoverished areas with nothing to cover their backs or one that provides struggling families with appliances for their homes. Any such organization would be thrilled to receive your donated goods. This is also a fantastic way to rid your home of clutter and things you may not have any use for. What better way to help someone less fortunate than by donating your own items to them? Don’t know where to send that pair of jeans you can no longer squeeze into or that pair of boots that has seen plenty of snow storms? Check out this article for ideas on where to go.

Get Vocal
Outside of charitable organizations, taking an active part in giving back can also include making your voice heard on issues that affect your life. Given the ever-changing political climate of the world, activism in the form of taking a stance on the issues we face on a daily basis is a hot button topic for nearly every individual. Even though news and opinions spread via social media, commenting on an article or visiting a fan page are not always enough to be heard. Often, we are encouraged to contact our lawmakers directly. But how do you reach an individual with such a position? Writing letters and making phone calls, that’s how! Learn how you too can make a difference by expressing your thoughts to those that can help mold your future. Visit this site for more information.

Armchair activism is most definitely lame. With plenty of options available to help you do your part, there is no reason why the extent of your efforts should be at your computer desk.

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