Christmas time = the giving season. However, with the recession being confirmed and money quite tight for everyone, coming out of pocket is not the only way you can give. Volunteering your time to a worthy charity or project is one of the best and rewarding ways to give around this time. I know that often, we want to claim our time is sooo precious, however think about those hours you spend wathching reality TV or surfing the Web can be used to help the greater good!
This past Saturday, I had the opportunity of spending the afternoon and evening with my Akanke Mentorship Program that I mentor through. It's a program started by a young lady from Richmond, CA comprised of 18 mentees who attend KIPP Charter School, who are mentored by young professional women like myself. We had a Christmas party and took the young ladies ice skating downtown (which was something that most had never done). My mentee is a 15 year old freshman, who is a cheerleader and absolutely hilarious. We're able to talk to each comfortably about life, school and family. I think about when I was a freshman (waay back in the day) and I would have loved to have a mentor who is able to offer me guidance and advice on my day-to-day life and future. I can only hope that I can be a great role model and make a difference in her life.
One of my resolutions for '08 was to get more active in my community, and with Obama winning the presidency, I find that I want to do my part in making sure this country sees the change is needs and want to offer up my gifts to help my community. And with the year quickly coming to an end, I am finding more projects and organizations that I can become involved with!
Need ideas or ways to get involved around this season and beyond? For my Chicagoans, one of my girl's volunteers through Chicago Cares, and another one of my girl's dedicates her blog to giving through charity events and volunteer projects in the city. However, there's always local community organizations and most companies offers up any ways for you to service your community.