{doing good}

On last Wednesday's post I wrote, "I sometimes think whether the time I devote to this blog might be better spent working on a worthy cause or for an inspiring business." I've had this feeling that's been gnawing at me for quite some time - the wanting to give more and have the time I spend here mean something.

W H A T    G O O D    S H A L L    I    D O    T H I S    D A Y ?

This question is handwritten on a piece of paper and pinned to my inspiration board. I am fair and realistic with myself. Most days, the best "good" thing I can muster is being a mama to my little ones. However, there's a constant part of me that wants to do more, give more.

Sometime after publishing Wednesday's post and the dinner dishes were washed and the kids were upstairs having their bath, I sat down at my desk and read an achingly beautiful post written by Erin (of Like / Want / Need) about The Lost Boys. (If you get the chance, please read this post and watch the videos.) Reading Erin's post and watching the accompanying videos directly touched that gnawing feeling. There are so many people that need voices in this world. Like all of us (and more than us), they need platforms to tell their stories. It got me thinking, wouldn't it be amazing to find a way to use our platforms for social advocacy? While the inspiration sharing is part of the journey, I would love to find a way to counterbalance all the pretty with something more meaningful.

In fact, over the last couple of months a friend and I have been brainstorming ideas on starting a site that highlights and brings people doing good things (to put it in simple terms) together into one space; People who are making a difference in their community and/or empowering people who need it most. (I'm not void of ideas, just the time and energy to implement them.) 

I hope you won't read this post and think of me standing on a soapbox. (I am the person who wasted hours trying to change a blog URL. Oi!). You know I'm always just trying to think about things out loud and share them with you here.  I know each of you has a cause that's dear to you and you do what you can in your own way. If you feel comfortable sharing, I would love to hear about them. Do you ever feel like you want to give/do more with your social influence?

image source: Sign from Best Made Co. found via Design for Mankind

11 Send Me Your Thoughts:

  1. Such a moving post, Theresa. Yours and Erin's both. I think we all grapple with this, I mean, who doesn't want to do more good, right? I volunteered at Callum's school a lot when he was younger (it makes sense to step away and make it more *his* space as he gets older) and now I'm involved in volunteering with local and state political issues, but still, it doesn't feel like enough. I agree too, that tending to my family sometimes feels like the most I can do (especially this week for some reason!). And yet. I always think in terms of Callum. I want him to see me, see us, always reaching out to do more.

    I'm so excited about your potential endeavors. I'm sure you'll keep us posted, yes?

    Oh, one last thing. Today is Wednesday, which means it's Community Service Day at school for Cal. The 7th graders get their turn at the end of the year, but all the middle schoolers volunteer during the year. Each Wednesday they kids are bussed out to various places (Cal's location is a nearby elementary school where he hangs with some 1st graders) where they do community service. It's one of the things I love about his school. XO

  2. Thanks, Lauren. I love that Callum's school has a Community Service Day! It's such a gift and a wonderful lesson for him. At T&E's preschool, around Christmas time, the teachers take all the kids to a nearby convalescent home where the kids sing to the residents. It's very cute, and teaches them about giving back to their community. You bring up a good point in that one of the reasons I have this gnawing feeling is because I want to ensure I'm setting a good example. I think you're serving as a wonderful model for Callum. xo

  3. I've been thinking a lot about giving back this year. I've actually had an idea about a similar non profit I would love to start. The basic idea is bringing graphic design and blogging skills to young girls in underprivileged areas as an after school program. With so much else going on, this idea hasn't matured into any action yet. But I keep coming back to it, so I think eventually it will.

  4. "Do you ever feel like you want to give/do more with your social influence?"
    OMG, all the time!!!

    The Hubster and I are always looking for ways in which we can do our bit whilst educating/involving our kid(s) in the future when they are older and better able to understand that not everyone is as fortunate as they are. It's very important to us that it becomes part of the very fabric of our family life.

    I have so much swirling around my head right now but I think I'll just forward you the e-mail I sent to Erin instead.
    Fantastic post! I look forward to seeing how your passion, creativity and innate kindness come together in your worthy endeavour! :D xo

  5. I too get that feeling in the back of my mind sometimes. I think it comes from being thankful for what you have while realizing that there are some much less fortunate souls out there.

  6. Christine DinsmoreApril 11, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    love this post theresa. and i love that quote as well. i am going to keep that one around for myself too :)

    around the holidays i highlight charities on my blog. of course i do it so people can donate but my inner "social worker" is hoping people will connect with something at some point and want to keep giving.

    in october i also do a post on domestic violence (i worked as a dv shelter director/child advocate/parent educator before i gave it all up for blogging and pillow making). as a mom and through my work i think it all starts with families - the care (physical, mental, emotional, medical) that children receive or don't receive literally leads to every problem from adolescence through adulthood. not that problems can't happen in happy homes, but most adults with problems had shit childhoods. so that one is a big one for me. foster kids is also something i would really love to get involved with, not as a foster parent but as a mentor for older foster kids that are leaving the system (they often have not one adult to turn to). i think it would be great to set up funds/website for helping them be on their own, getting an education, or having them over for christmas dinner - that sort of thing. like matching kids with families/mentors to be a person they can say "hey where should i get my oil changed?" or "how to you make mashed potatoes?" and last, i had the same reaction to a documentary i saw on fistulas, that erin had to lost boys, so that is one i would like to be more involved in. sooooo, yeah, i think about doing more A LOT.

    i can't wait to hear what you are doing. or thinking about. i am definitely on board. xo

  7. Oh you. I wake up every morning recently and think some variation on "What GOOD can I do today?" Or at least I try to. I want to, so that's half the battle, yes? I'm doing some good right now, but I want to be doing more. I needed a wake up call to realize that, and I'm grateful and humbled by the opportunity that I got for eye-opening. I'm moving into action, but I'm feeling more calm now knowing that I'm on a course for good. I feel relieved and like I can finally exhale. xoxo

  8. Giving back is so important! Theresa, you have such a big heart and you do many 'good' things. Your brainstorming idea sounds so wonder full. Much love xxx

  9. Such a great post! I know exactly how you are feeling and have felt the same way so often. I love blogging, but with the amount of time it can take to do one post, I find myself wondering if my time would be spent better elsewhere... like cleaning/exercising/spending time with friends!

    I think your idea sounds fabulous and I think you would have so many readers! It's exactly what the blogging world needs!

  10. hello theresa, it's friday and i have time to think. this post is important! taking care of our families is the first order of business, and after that - using an online forum to create good in the world is a wonderful calling. i find that, as a teacher, my "good" is taken care of with 28 little children. i look forward to sharing your adventure. the hard part (for me) is keeping the balance right - family vs. everything else.

    happy weekend!

  11. Hey there! So, I'm not quite sure if you're aware but last year I quit my job to work at a start up nonprofit and we and our volunteers would find good nonprofits to support, with either donations or volunteer time. Coming from the for-profit industry, it was one heck of a change but what I will say about it was that it was inspiring. The dedication that people have to make a difference, in whatever cause they support, is truly wonderful. Let me know if you want to know the name of our site and also what we did - we've found some pretty good nonprofits to support in different geographies.


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