Why I Serve
I addressed the topic of community service and giving on my IGTV a few weeks ago because I felt as if it needed to be discussed. Since moving to London and in particular entering this blog world, I’ve been really feeling I’ve been incredibly self-involved. Though privileged, sometimes we lose sight of the things that truly ground us. For me, service is something that helps me understand my community, the place I live and truly understand where I have come with everything else going on in the world. It’s a self-reflection, but also a great way to help your local community.
How To Find a Charity
When speaking to friends, I realized that many see service as a sacrifice. It is almost always associated with manual labor or something quite physically strenuous. It is one of the main reasons that puts people off. The second reason most people don’t serve is because they think they are not making a difference. Honestly, it’s about finding the right charity and the right charitable action. Think about your life, what you’ve achieved, where you live, what you do, where you eat, what you enjoy. Keep asking yourself questions and the questions that you ask should help you understand an aspect of your life that has made you the person you are today.
For me, my blog was making me feel more and more self-involved. When scrutinizing the travel lifestyle blog world, I came to realize a few things: Notting Hill is a neighborhood that is more than just colorful houses. it’s dripping in history and it needs to be showcased more to demonstrate the importance of being a mindful traveler. Additionally, being a travel lifestyle blogger means you are sent a decent amount of clothes and I would love to find a way to donate them where they are put to good use. Unlike most bloggers, I don’t believe re-selling gifted items is ethical and want to ensure that someone is able to get the most potential out of something. When I combined these two thoughts, I came up with my Airbnb Experience! I started hosting a ‘Colourful Notting Hill Photo Walk’ to show locals and tourists the most picturesque places in Notting Hill and educate them on the incredible Caribbean history of bringing a vibrant culture and community to the area that has been long forgotten. I can use that money to then donate to Smart Works, a charity that helps dress and coach unemployed women for job success. It was initially started to help Caribbean women in West London, but has since grown to support all women! The extra perk? They can make use of a lot of the clothes I would like to donate too!
How to Find Local Charities
A simple Google search will definitely help you find a national or global charity. If you’re looking to impact your community, then here are a few tips on finding the right local charity:
- Do a Google search
- Join a global or national campaign and see if they have local events or endorsed charities in the area
- Ask your council or town hall
- Check online databases like Local Giving
Other Ways of Giving
Not everyone can just go to a soup kitchen and serve meals for a few hours. There you go, I said it. So here are a few things you can do easily and still make a difference!
- illicia - If you’re a fashionista and want to support a brand that gives, then support Illicia. 2% of the profit goes towards a loan that helps women around the world start up businesses to help their family.
- Kiva - Kiva is a loan organization that connects lenders and entrepreneurs around the world that enables women to start up businesses. It’s the most gratifying way to give, especially when you receive updates!
- Airbnb Experience - Are you a traveler? You can sign up for an Airbnb Experience anywhere in the world that has a social impact. These are usually travel experiences that benefit a local charity.
- Giving blood and/or register as an organ donor - It is minimal effort, no funding required and you can save a life!
- Buy local - I always try to buy local or small business as it’s a small act of giving