Getting Back to Giving Back

In recent years, I have become a little self-involved. Some would say having a lifestyle blog is simply a means to tout how much better one’s life is without showing all the trauma, drama, and hardships. Others would call it shameless bragging about everything they do not have the opportunity to do. I am drawing a line in the sand, and calling the naysayers out. With today being Giving Tuesday, I decided to double down a do a little giving back to the Orlando community.

Move over, Derek Zealander, I’m helping, too!

Since returning to the United States, I have had difficulty finding a place I feel comfortable calling my home community. Between looking for jobs, traveling the world, and rediscovering who I am in my 30s, my identity has been in a state of constant evolution and revolution. Try as I may, there are times that the internal and infernal twenty-something is ardently battling the ever maturing thirty-something I am. I was a Girl Scout for nine years, and I have longed to find something that would stimulate my sense of giving back ever since I hung it up in the eighth grade.  I feel like I haven’t really done anything to support the future of this country aside from the  occasional participation in a fund raiser or buying some Girl Scout Cookies each year.

While the Alex + Ani Charmed by Charity event was a great way to give back and get some shopping done, I feel like I need a more direct connection to feel like I am truly making an impact in my local community. Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to visit and learn about some great causes in the greater Central Florida region. The hard part is that I simply cannot pick one to throw all my energy into. They are all fantastic organizations pushing hard to make Orlando a better place, so I want to help them all!

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida –  I attended the Feed Hunger Happy Hour with Meghan and Andrea, and got one heck of a shock by the sheer volume of SHFB. It’s massive. Like you can fit both an IKEA and a Costco inside it massive. I want to strive to become an official Hunger Hero! There is no cape, but at least I could get a nifty t-shirt! 

Status: Individual Online Application Complete! Time to put up or shut up.

Clean the World – I volunteered with a group of Orlando-based flight attendants at CtW prior to beginning my month-long base swap in November. I met some truly amazing people who I am proud to call my colleagues. I spent a day laughing and working toward helping a great cause which affects our local community as well as benefits communities worldwide. One day, I would love to become a Soap Star and get my name on their Wall of Fame! All my unused layover amenities are schlepped home and collected for CtW!

Status: Previously volunteered, so I simply need to find available shifts!

Did a #GivingTuesday Fly-by for Clean the World!

Give Kids the World – I fly Orlando. Whether I am commuting to work in Atlanta, based in New York, or actually spending the month working with Orlando crew, MCO is home (and don’t you dare correct me and call it OIA (Orlando International Airport). While countless families comes to Central Florida to visit the Disney, Universal, Sea World, and all the other tourist attractions, some come under extenuating circumstances.

Status: Individual Volunteer Application Submitted. Awaiting response from GKTW.

Adult Literacy League – When browsing the selection of Central Florida participants in Giving Tuesday, ALL jumped out at me. As an adult and former educator, knowing that that my peers and seniors struggle with learning, literacy, and education. With my irregular schedule, I would not want to shortchange the students by being unable to regularly commit to being a Tutor. I do think I’ll try to check out their wish list, and see what I can do to assist their mission.

Status: Spoke with Outreach Manager on telephone. Planning to do an interview!

Typically, my days off have become packed with chores, Netflix binges, and leisure activity. Yes, I know I am fully entitled to those mental health breaks with permission to spoil myself for all the shenanigans I put up with at work. However, I am desire to be a proactive citizen. Perhaps, all the recent news headlines are pushing me to try and find some semblance of unity in community, especially with the holidays season rolling in. I know I am one person, but I believe that I can make an impact. I just have to budget my time and energy efficiently, so I don’t burn out.

Which organizations do you support? I’ve been thinking about potentially finding a fund raising race for 2015, and I would love it if it were to benefit one of the charities here in Central Florida. Any thoughts?

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