One of my goals for 2012 was to give to charity at least once a month. Whether it be in the form of money, time, old clothes, or a walk, I need to be doing something for others. At my job I am often catering to the wealthy, or Corporate America. Both of which I have come to despise. It also causes me to put wealth in perspective.

I've talked about Charity walks before, I love doing them. But it is not the season to walk outside right now. Until it gets warm again I need to give back a different way. There are many in this world far worse off than us Post Grads. Those who did not have the opportunity to go to college, or even finish a basic education. We complain about doing laundry while others can't afford clothes. We eat less to fit into a dress while others scrounge for food.

One of my go-to charities is St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. I try to give to them at least twice a year. This type of donation is pretty cut-and dry, though. You choose how much to give, and they send you a receipt. Nothing very personalized about it.

One of the newer places I found was thanks to Erin at Analyfe. It is called Kiva. It is a microlending non-profit that assists people around the world in their efforts to get out of poverty. You can read about the potential borrowers and the endeavors they are working on in their countries. You can also read about their repayment history. When was the last time you lent someone $25, knew you'd get it back, and also knew they would be using it for good? This is what Kiva does.

Other charitable things I am looking into is Habitat for Humanity. I have wanted to volunteer for them for a long time. The issue is that there are very little builds going on in my area. Instead they have a store, called ReStore, that has building materials and home improvement supplies for 50-90% retail value. They ask for volunteers to run the store, take stock of the donations, etc. I may need to do this if a build opportunity does not come up soon.

How do you all give back to the community around you? Are there any really great things I am missing?


  1. I volunteer (almost) every week at Food and Friends. It's a kitchen/pantry that delivers nutritious meals to people living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening and life-challenging diseases (and their dependents and caregivers). Volunteering is fun and super convenient.

    For those thinking about donating money, check out the Catalogue for Philanthropy. They research community based non-profits and identify the best groups to support so you can be sure that your donation, no matter how small, has the biggest impact.

  2. I was looking into volunteering for organizations that help those in DC affected by HIV/AIDS, but I was not looking for a major commitment, as my time was limited. I found MetroAIDS conveniently by chance. They have events almost every weekend and they just ask for anyone interested to help with these events. Most of the time it is the same people that help all the time, but, there is always someone random and new trying it out. Not only are you helping people that really have it rough in DC, but you get to meet new people and work for an organization that really can help our youth.