For the past few years Oscar and I have been talking about giving more. But that's just the thing, it was all talk. Bills have been tight in the past so we always put it off for the future when we had more money. But... the "future" never came. I joined the heart team and made more money but I also spent more. I started traveling and the same thing rang truer. The problem was that we weren't prioritizing giving. We kept putting it on the back burner.
Although I didn't really lay down any official goals this year, we have several that we know we want to tackle. It includes the usual eating better and exercising more. Blah blah blah. But I came up with a way to make sure that I actually donate my time and money to a cause and stick to the plan.
At first I thought of choosing one charity or cause for the year. And then I realized that there are many causes that are near and dear to our hearts and there was no way I could narrow it down to one. So we decided to pick a cause a month and donate at least $100 to each. That's the rule and I'm sticking to it. I'm sharing it here so that I can be held accountable, but also in the hope that you'll join along with me. You don't have to support the same causes or even spend $100 but I love the idea of inspiring others to give, in any form they feel comfortable in doing so. Maybe you're schedule is packed but you can spare even just $20. Or maybe you want to teach your kids about giving. I'm sure there's an animal shelter or shelter kitchen that could take some volunteers.
But enough chit chat! For January we want to help fight human trafficking. I remember hearing a few months ago that the US is the biggest offender when it comes to this enormous problem [I'm looking at you San Fransisco] and I couldn't believe it. But it's a global problem too. I stumbled upon 'Fight for Them' via instagram and bought a necklace before learning that January is human trafficking awareness month. Seemed like a no brainer for the first month of this project. You can buy your own necklace here. I would normally feel guilty about receiving in the name of giving but 100% of the proceeds go to fighting human trafficking and making others aware.
Most of their efforts seem to be focused on Cambodia but either way I think it's a great cause. Every necklace includes a "pearl of hope" and the initials of a survivor. It's very sweet. It only cost $20 so I'm still deciding on where to put the rest of my money but there's this site as well.
If you'd like to join in feel free to leave a link in the comment section or use the hashtag #give2014 on social media so I can see how you're giving. I'll be announcing our cause at the beginning of the month for the rest of the year so be on the look out for future causes to get behind!