This post is sponsored by Tiesta Tea. All opinions are my own.
Today is GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement that empowers people and organizations to do good and transform their communities and the world. This day is a reminder just how powerful giving back can truly be.
For me personally, over the years I’ve realized just how much giving back gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment, particularly through volunteering my time.
Pursuing My Purpose in Giving Back
My love for giving back really began as a teenager, when I joined a volunteer club in high school. Through that club, I discovered a volunteer opportunity at a local horse stable that focused on equestrian therapy for special needs children. Being a guide for those children and helping to encourage them warmed my heart in a way nothing ever had before. It was at that stable that I realized that giving back was going to be a big mission in life for me.
That passion continued on into college where I helped raise thousands of dollars for the Make A Wish Foundation through efforts with my sorority. After graduating and entering the corporate world, I felt an inherent longing to continue volunteering in Chicago and donating money to organizations I cared about. I knew in doing so, that it would give me that sense of purpose I was seeking that I wasn’t getting necessarily in my job at the time.
That ultimately led me to finding opportunities through the years at The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Feed My Starving Children, Ronald McDonald House, Off The Street Club, PAWS Chicago, and Misericordia. These are all organizations that hold extreme significance with me. Each experience I’ve had with these organizations has both opened my eyes to the struggles so many face and opened my heart to helping them in any way that I can.
Misericordia in particular is near and dear to me. Misericordia is a campus of homes on the north side of Chicago for those with physical and intellectual disabilities. I’ve always had a soft spot for these incredible individuals so immediately jumped at the chance to become a regular volunteer once I discovered the organization. I’ve been donating my time weekly at one of the homes, serving dinner to the residents and helping with cleanup. I also get to sit down with the residents during dinner each week. I’ve gotten super close with them and truly appreciate every minute I spend with them. They are the best humans and always know how to make me smile!
I knew I always wanted to volunteer abroad at some point too, but I never found an organization with a mission I could align with. That all changed this past September when I discovered Venture2Impact. After speaking to the founder, it seemed meant to be so I happily accepted the opportunity to volunteer in Rwanda, Africa this February. I’ll be volunteering my time and teaching English and business and computer skills to those that need it. I already know I’ll be coming back a changed person.
Companies I Admire That Give Back
Because of my strong value in giving back, corporate philanthropy has also become extremely important to me. I believe every company should have a commitment to giving back to the community in some way. This is why I love working for companies and partnering with companies that value the power of giving back.
I’m so proud to say I work at Salesforce, a company that infuses philanthropy into its culture. Salesforce encourages employees to give back, providing us seven paid volunteer days a year and corporate matching of donations over $50. Since its founding, Salesforce has given more than $240 million in grants, 3.5 million hours of community service, and provided product donations for more than 39,000 nonprofits and education institutions. No wonder it was named the #1 Best Workplace for Giving Back last year.
Tiesta Tea is a company I partner with through Lipstick & Ink, not only because I’m obsessed with their tea, but also because they give back to the community. The Tiesta Tea Foundation was created to focus on providing assistance to those facing economic hardship, increasing acceptance and awareness of those with special needs or disabilities, as well as providing clean, safe drinking water to villages of developing countries. As part of their Spread the Warmth initiative here in Chicago, I’ll be volunteering with Tiesta Tea to pass out hot tea and warmth kits to those in shelters, soup kitchens and on city streets. Find out how you too can help here.
Other companies I admire who give back are Toms, AirBnB, Patagonia and AllBirds.
Make Your Mark
Part of Lipstick & Ink’s mantra is make your mark. Making your mark can signify many things, but most of all, to me it means creating a lasting impact. You can make your mark and have an impact especially when you give back and expect nothing in return. In my eyes, that’s what the meaning of life is all about.
So – how will you make your mark? Below are some ideas of how you can get started:
- Volunteer Your Time – Find organizations you’re passionate about where you can donate your time and see your impact in action.
- Donate Your Money – If you have the means, donate to nonprofits you care about.
- Start a Fundraiser – Raise money through platforms such as GoFundMe for those less fortunate.
- Share the Power of #GivingTuesday – Use social media for good and spread awareness of how others can give back!
- Teach & Share Your Knowledge – If you have knowledge on a subject or topic that would benefit others, look into ways of how you can teach and share what you know.
- Implement the Power of Giving Back Every Day – Don’t just wait for GivingTuesday every year to give back. Think of ways how you can consistently give back on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Whether it’s by way of donating your time, your money, or your voice – I challenge you to always be thinking about how you can do good and make your mark.
And remember: the good you do in giving back, no matter the scale, is truly limitless.
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Role Strategy and Employee Engagement Manager at Salesforce and has over 12 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.