As if I needed yet another reason to love technology, it's worked wonders in opening up opportunities for busy parents like me who want to support the causes we care about, but don't always have the time. As much as we value hands-on charitable work, between working and chasing after four kids, our bandwidth rapidly disappears.
I'm looking forward to supporting my own favorite causes through hands-on volunteering soon, but until then, I'm so thankful to that technology presents me with some other options. I hope they'll inspire you to help give back to the causes that mean the most to you, too.
1. Donate online, of course
We have a lot of charities we love, not surprisingly. And they all offer an online platform for you to offer your monetary support. You can make a secure, tax-free deductible cash donation with just a couple of clicks, or get a little more creative, like giving a Kiva loan to a worthy individual in another country starting a business.
One of the most valuable things you can do for a charity is to participate in a guaranteed monthly gift program too--sort of like auto bill pay, only for donations. Sign up online and the money comes right out of your bank account or credit card each month, so they not only get a steady stream of funds that they need, you spread out your payments so you don't have to give one big chunk when December rolls around.
2. Go shopping!
These days, you'll find no shortage of businesses, many of which we've featured on Cool Mom Picks, that donate a percentage of your purchase price to causes ranging from support for women and families halfway around the globe, to donations to your kids' own school. As long as you're shopping anyway, why not seek out online companies with a charitable mission that aligns with your own?
3. Recycle your old gadgets
As a military spouse, I know how difficult it can be to stay connected to deployed and TDY family members. That's why I love the idea of donating old phones and gadgets to non-profits like Cell Phones for Soldiers, who works to provide military personnel with cost-free methods to communicate with their family. It's a nice thing to think about, especially with Memorial Day around the corner.
You can also donate your gadgets to women's shelters or to schools, who can then trade them in for cash or much-needed supplies.
4. Start a movement! You can do it!
We're continually amazed at how effective a simple online petition can make a difference. Sites like Change.org allow anyone from elementary school kids to global women to mobilize support and effect change in their own community or the world. The success stories are pretty amazing, and yours could be next .-Kristen
We love how our sponsor Chase is doing good, specifically with the 100,000 Jobs Mission, which aims to do by connecting companies with veterans. Their aim is employ 100,000 veterans by the year 2020.
[Photo at top: Computers in Schools Uganda, IICD]
Find More: Causes and General Do-Gooding