Every time I turn around, I’m inundated with requests to support this cause or donate money for that one. It gets tiring.
So I turn the other way. I delete the emails and ignore the ads on my favorite sites. I tell my friends I’m just “not into that” and forget about it within five minutes. I tell myself I support enough causes, why on earth would I support another one?
How often does this happen to you?
What is it about all these causes? All these things I need to support, want to support, but can’t support?
Do you feel as frustrated as I do with it all? I’ve come up with a way to deal with this. As a special needs parent I am constantly tapped on the shoulder to support one cause or another. I want to support them all, but there’s just not enough of me to go around.
These are tough times, and money just doesn’t go as far as it used to go. Charitable giving is traditionally highest among individuals. That means you. And me.
It’s never easy to find enough money for the things in life we need most. Much less, those things we want, or that we want to support. Not having enough money is one reason we throw out when we delete that message, when we ignore that ad.
I’ve started thinking about this in a different way, though, one that starts with what I am most passionate about in life. For instance, my passions revolve around special needs issues. But those aren’t the only causes I care about. I care deeply about Cancer awareness. I care about animal cruelty. I care about …
You see where this is going, yes?
I’m a poor wife and mom (seriously! Dirt poor…that’s me!) and have three special needs kids of my own. I can’t possibly support every cause I believe in. There’s not enough money, time, or energy for me to do so.
I think that is part of the reason we turn the other way so easily. The perfectionist in us says “we can’t do it all, so why do any of it?”
So what’s my big thing? What makes it easier for me as I blog and write my way through all the causes that surround me? It’s focus.
We can focus our efforts and be most effective if we support causes selectively. Prioritize what we care the most about and learn to say no, selectively. Awareness, true awareness of an issue and support of a cause, should come from deep within your heart, it should represent what you are most passionate about in life. You can care about other causes, but becoming aware of this big world around us means we have to focus in order to make a difference.
What are we doing if we don’t want to make some difference in the world, if some cause doesn’t move us and make us want to effect change?
Remember that support doesn’t always mean giving money. I’ve found creativity in supporting my main passions in life. Consider:
>> Money is always nice (I had to put it on the list. I did!).
>> What about reading a post or website and commenting?
>> Do the above and then tweet about it.
>> Do both of these and then re-tweet it (a few times, even!).
>> Read that site or post and then share it on Facebook or Google+.
>> Do these again.
>> Do you blog? Why not write a post in support, directing folks to the site for further information or to donate.
>> Do the above, but put a widget on your site or with the post, giving folks a way to donate directly.
>> Talk about the ones you support. You see all the different ways you can show your support for the causes you are passionate about; be creative and come up with even more.
This week I have several different causes I am supporting. I don’t have the money to hand over. I don’t have a lot of time.
I have a “Cause of the Week” on my site–I award the status to one cause each week and do what I can to further awareness by putting up a widget, tweeting about it, and otherwise spreading awareness. I have offered up editing services for one other cause I am a part of, also joining in the tweeting for them. And I have the little matter of my own, Mini-Moody’s iPad award. These are all related to special needs kids and/or families, and I’m staying close to my own passions in supporting these causes creatively.
What will you do to support a cause today? This week? This month? Will you give money, time, your services? Have you thought about it recently? I’m just one special needs mommy, and my time is often not my own, but in supporting causes I am passionate about I feel a little bit “more” than just that mom.
What will you be passionate about? What will you care about? How will you become “more”?
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