Where Were You On #GivingTuesday?

 

Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday and even though I planned to share this video on the actual day, I decided to beat the rush and send it out today to get others excited about helping others! Check out the video or read below (or do both!). Here are my top three charities for #GivingTuesday!

 

Donorschoose.org

Of course this is on my list because it has saved me as a teacher and helped hundreds of my students thrive! So many teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies (or even on wellness items for their students) and this organization lifts these burdens off of our already thin wallets. Also, for teachers like me who love to go above and beyond, it helps us find the resources to dream a little bigger and bring the best experiences to our students. Started by Charles Best back in 2000, Donorschoose.org has helped over 20 million students get the resources and experiences they need. This organization will always have a special place in my heart as well in the heart of my students.

 

New Friends Homeless Center, Woodland Hills CA

Three course meal? Appetizers? Delicious desserts? This doesn't sound like your typical homeless soup kitchen because it's not. Founded by Pastor April Belt, this center feeds hundreds of people who not only get a warm three course meal but also a night of dignity. Pastor April's volunteer staff serves the guests in sit down dinner environment while providing entertainment and an encouraging word. After the food festivities are done, there is a resource table where people can find toiletries, clothes, blankets, and pet food if they are in need of these supplies.

My students are currently reading the book Crenshaw and has partnered with New Friends Homeless Center to provide socks and toiletries to our neighbors in need. Some items are also going to the Penny Lane Centers in North Hollywood to help homeless and fostered youth. We are all in this together, so let's not forget those in need; both adults and our youth!

 

Zoe Children's Homes, Los Angeles, CA, Thailand

Slavery is not dead. Though my favorite president is Abraham Lincoln, and I admire him so—he did not end slavery. It is alive and well but is now known as human trafficking. Shockingly, there are more people enslaved now, through human trafficking, than during the time of Abraham Lincoln. WOW! Zoe rescues children who are being trafficked and also prevents the possible trafficking of children who are at high risk of being kidnapped. For over ten years they have been working in Thailand, which is a major hub for traffickers but they are also setting up homes in our own backyard!! YES! Human trafficking is growing at an alarming rate in the US! So let's give them a helping hand and assist them in building homes, rescuing children and providing educational and rehabilitation services for the children they rescue.

 

Where Were You?

On this #GivingTuesday let's take the time to be of service to someone else. We can ask our grandparents, "Where were you during the Holocaust, or the Japanese interment camp round-up or the fight for civil rights of 1965?" We can ask them if they spoke up for the basic rights of the people in their communities and in their nation or if they just turned their heads ignoring it all because it was inconvenient. But one day our grandchildren will look us in the eyes and will ask us this same question.

Where were you?

For most of us, stressing over whether we should keep our iPhone 6 or trade up for the iPhone 7 is our most pressing issue during these holidays. But for so many out there, trying to survive on so little just to live is their daily reality. They need hope. They need our help. They need to know we see them and we care.

So join me on this #GivingTuesday and let's be a part of the solution and not the problem.

It takes a village and a collaborative effort. I know these three organizations will be honored to have you join their cause.

 

Blessings!