When you are navigating a season of change, you need a Place (or a cause), somewhere you can help.This gives you a place to put some of your leftover love and turn it into love on purpose. It takes your mind off of the people in your life who need to flourish on their own. Today we will explore some questions that may help you decide where to put your time, energy, and perhaps even your donation dollars.

Some thoughtful ways to choose your Place or Cause:

  • Name a cause or charity that you already support.
  • Do you have a mug in your cabinet from an event you attended for a charity you trust?
  • Is there a t-shirt in your closet from a run, walk, or event that was meaningful to you?
  • Do you or or a family member have a condition that you’d like to educate others about?
  • Is there a church program or activity you would like support? Or start?
  • Is there a neighborhood watch where you’d like to be more active?
  • Is there a civic need you’d like to serve on a committee to find a solution?
  • Did you endure a difficult season, and now you’d like to give back? Here are some examples:
    • Wives struggling in marriage
    • Single moms
    • Dealing with Chronic Illness-Yours or a Family Member
    • Mothers of Pre-Schoolers
    • Soccer Moms
    • Blogger Moms
    • Single, No Kids, and Proud
    • Travelers
    • Tired Teachers
    • Grief Strugglers
    • The list could go on…

Research, Review, Volunteer, Give

Research. Before you volunteer or give, use these websites to be sure your charity is a good place to give:

  • Charity Navigator: www.charitynavigator.org
  • Charity Watch: www.charitywatch.org
  • Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance www.give.org
  • Check your state at www.nasconet.org

Review. Be sure the charity’s mission and programs align with yours. Check their website and see how much they value volunteers and how easy they make it for a volunteer to get started. Check to see how their donations are used. See if the charity qualifies as a 501(c)(3) at https://irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search.

Volunteer. Does the fit feel comfortable? Do you like it as much as you had hoped? If not, no harm, just let the charity know you’d like to decline further service opportunities. If so, then continue and consider the last step.

Give. Give directly to the charity. Do not give to internet or phone solicitations, as they may be skimming a portion of your gift off the top.

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As you navigate your season of change, a place to serve others gives you a new place to feel needed and helpful. Making a difference keeps you busy, and gives your loved ones the space they need to flourish on their own.

What Place or cause will you choose?

It’s not a secret: I have chosen mentoring moms as my cause – the place where I once struggled the most is the now the place I belong. My mentoring experience has given me two beliefs:

  • I believe every young adult needs their parents to take one last role in their upbringing: Mentor. This provides them with the connection they need occasionally, and the space they need to spread their wings and launch.
  • I believe that as every person ages (including me), we fulfill our purpose on earth by helping others a few steps behind us.

If you want to learn more about mentoring, even if it’s just for your own kids, click here.

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