Why You Should Support School Fundraisers

School fundraising is not a new idea, in fact it has been around for a while with a successful history. Many school fundraisers date back to the early 1970s, starting with door-to-door sales. Many school fundraisers utilized door-to-door sales until 1997, when a New Jersey, eleven-year-old boy was killed while out fundraising unsupervised. As a result, a majority of school fundraisers do not recommend or advise kids to go door-to-door selling items for their fundraiser.

Due to their long history, chances are you were enticed to participate in middle school, junior and high school fundraisers with the promise of over-the-top and lavish prizes to those who sold the most, thereby, raising the most money for the school. You set out with high hopes, begging your parents to purchase the most expensive, or the most products so that you could win all the prizes that were used to entice you to participate.

Unfortunately, not every student had parents or extended family members, that were able to purchase vast amounts of the proffered product to contribute to the fundraiser. Whereas, others had parents and other family members who did not hesitate to whip out their wallet and purchase vast amounts of the offered product, propelling their students towards the proffered prizes.

I remember sitting in the closing assembly at the end of the fundraiser, and seeing the disappointment on countless students faces, who did not achieve the ultimate end prize that they had hoped for at the beginning of the fundraiser. Other students around me, bounced with anticipation and excitement knowing that they had earned some of the desirous, brag-worthy prizes.

Now that you are a parent, you are the one who has been recruited through your child to make their school fundraiser a success. Your child now has the dreams of winning the levies, over-the-top prizes promised to those who sells the most, or raise the most money for the fundraiser. Every parent wants to see their child’s successes, which is why many parents are willing to purchase from the fundraiser, along with asking co-workers, friends, neighbors and extended family to also purchase from the fundraiser.

Aside from helping students achieve their goals, i.e., the promised prizes for their help in fundraising, there are other reasons why you should support school fundraisers in your community. Participation in school fundraisers, through financial donations and purchase of items that are being sold, allows for schools to purchase necessary equipment and supplies, update equipment and other purchases that
would not be possible without successful fundraising efforts.

On average, each year schools and other non-profit organizations raise over $1.7 billion each year through their fundraising efforts of selling popular items, services and online support. Because the funds raised benefit a worthy cause, it is estimated that eight out of ten Americans support school fundraisers, here are a few reasons why I believe you should support school fundraisers too.

Worthwhile Cause

Children deserve a good education, regardless of where they live and what school they attend. Because some schools are located in wealthier locations, they tend to have a bigger budget per student that allows for them to provide more opportunities for their students. That being said, it is a worthwhile cause to donate to school fundraisers, as you are investing in children’s education, whether they are your own children or not.

When a fundraiser is organized to support a cause that people can get behind, they are more inclined to support it with their hard-earned money. Education is something that everyone can get behind, because people know how important a good education is. Because so many people are willing to get behind education, school fundraisers are successful.

Support Your Child’s School

Often times, those who participate and support school fundraisers the most are the parents of the students. This also includes grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members. School fundraising tends to appeal to family members more than friends, neighbors, and complete strangers because they know the student who will directly benefit from the fundraiser. Knowing their child, or grandchild will directly benefit from the fundraiser through new equipment, supplies and technology; parents, and grandparents are more inclined to support the fundraiser than they might otherwise be.

When you have a student who attends the school, you have a better idea of what the school needs to provide your student with a quality education. Because you have this first-hand knowledge, you can see where and why the school needs to have a fundraiser and where funds will go to benefit the students. As such, parents are more inclined to support fundraisers that support their child’s school than they would be to support other fundraisers that won’t benefit their children or their education.

Returning the Favor

School fundraisers are a great way for friends, neighbors and even parents’ co-workers to return the favor and pay it forward. Because the office is a great place to bring different people with different aged children together. It is not uncommon for co-workers to trade off supporting each other’s children’s school fundraiser.Asking coworkers to donate or purchase from a school fundraiser also allows those who are empty nesters and those who haven’t had children yet the ability to feel included and return the favor for all those who helped their kids in the past or will help their children in the future.

Asking co-workers is also a great place to find potential buyers, because a lot of people are more inclined to purchase items from people they know than they are from complete strangers. When they purchase items from a co-worker’s child, they know that they are supporting a local school, whereas when they purchase from a random person there is no way to validate where their funds actually go.

Like the Product Being Sold

The easiest reason that motivates people to support school fundraisers is by simply selling a product that they like and will utilize. This is what makes food fundraisers so successful, is that they often promote foods that a vast majority of people like and consume regularly. Whether it be a premade food items such as chocolate bars or cookie dough, to discount and coupon cards to popular pizza and smoothie shops.

This is what makes food fundraisers so successful, is that a great product will do all the work itself—it will sell itself. This is why a lot of school fundraisers are the same, year after year because those organizing them know what will raise the most amount of money with the least amount of effort on their part. Often times the items being sold are offered at a reasonable price, enticing those who are interested in the product to make the purchase knowing that it will go towards helping a worthwhile cause in their community.

Involvement

Participating and supporting a school fundraiser is another way in which parents and grandparents can be involved in their child or grandchild’s education. As with most other things, you might not have much say when it comes to choices made for the school, but you can vote with your dollars when you decide to support various school fundraisers.

Parents that are unable to volunteer their time inside the classroom during the school year due to other obligations, can be involved through supporting various school fundraisers throughout the year. Whether it be through donating and purchasing items for the fundraiser, taking their child around to friends and neighbors to sell items, or helping a child to contact grandparents and other family members to seek their support.

Your Support Does Make a Difference

Even though there are countless different school fundraisers going on, often simultaneously, your donations and support do make a difference. Many school fundraisers are designed to purchase new supplies or equipment for the school, which can only be achieved through a successful school fundraiser. When the fundraiser is completed, the funds are then used as advertised, thereby, improving the quality of education for the students, or providing resources and opportunities that otherwise were unattainable.

If you ever wonder if your support does matter, or does make a difference to a school fundraiser, it does! When I was in high school, our athletic department came together and organized a fundraiser to improve the football field, stadium and surrounding grounds. They petitioned the local community and businesses to donate as the improvements would not only benefit the football team, but the track and field team, the marching band, students and patrons of the sporting events hosted there.

Upon successful completion of the fundraiser, the athletic department had raised the necessary funds to revamp the concourse leading to the football stadium, install artificial turf on the football field, redo the track surrounding the football field and other improvements. This was a fundraiser that I was skeptical of actually being successful, because it was not your typical fundraiser of selling food products or coupon book, instead they were selling personalized bricks with the donors’ name or company name. These bricks would then be used to create the new walkway leading into the revamped football stadium. Through all the generous donations of parents, friends, neighbors and the community they were able to reach their goals and create a beautiful new concourse and football stadium that students and the community will enjoy for years to come.

From first-hand experience, I can assure you that school fundraisers are important and every contribution, no matter how big or small, does make a difference. Whether the fundraiser be for plans to improve the school grounds, or to purchase new books and computers for the library; each fundraiser has a purpose and all students can benefit.

Next time you are asked to donate to a middle school, junior or high school fundraisers either through a monetary contribution or by purchasing food or a coupon/discount book from a student, consider the difference that you are going to be making. I challenge you, to make a donation next time you learn about a school fundraiser. Remember all those who supported your school fundraisers when you were going to school and all those who are supporting your kids, or future kids with their school fundraisers. Be a part of something good, something bigger than you and donate to school fundraisers in your community.

Author: Ashley Christensen

Sources:

5 Reasons to Support School Fundraisers


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_fundraising

KW’s Used:
High School Fundraisers

Awesome Fundraising for Schools

aGoodCause.com/Schools was created with administrators, teachers, coaches, parents, grandparents, and neighbors in mind.

Administrators, Teachers, and Coaches do NOT want to waste their time worrying about messy inventory, order forms, collecting money, paying for inventory, and then only earning 50% of the total amount earned.

For Administrators, Teachers, and Coaches aGoodCause.com offers a way to get rid of the headaches and frustrations that come from inventory fundraisers.  Here is a list of key solutions that have helped make fundraising awesome again….

  • We offer complimentary email and social media templates that are easily adaptable and have proven to be extremely effective.
  • Utilize our free online fundraising platform and within only a few days you could earn all the funds needed for your cause.
  • You can quickly and conveniently track the success of each participant with a high-quality dashboard.
  • Never worry about the students handling the money, because it will be deposited directly to your account on a daily basis.
  • Enjoy earning the highest payout in the industry.
  • Our team of experts are available to help you create and manage your cause, beginning to end.

Parents, Grandparents, Friends, and Neighbors do NOT want any more chocolate bars, popcorn, discount cards, or any other fundraising products. They only want to support their favorite student by helping them earn what they need to participate in a desired program/activity.

For Parents, Grandparents, Friends, and Neighbors aGoodCause.com offers the ultimate user friendly online platform that can be conveniently accessed on a computer, mobile device, or tablet.

  • Within seconds you can safely donate to your favorite student on the most secure fundraising platform.
  • Regardless of where your relatives or friends live, they can donate and support their favorite student from almost anywhere on the planet.

aGoodCause.com/Schools makes this all possible by offering a free and secure online fundraising platform that is second to none.

Top Five School Fundraising Ideas That Are Successful

When looking for your next school, club or team fundraiser, here are the top five that I believe are worth the time and effort.

It’s that time of year again, kids have returned to school and fall is on the horizon. With this change comes the inevitable school fundraisers that some look forward to with excitement while others dread. This is especially true for school administration, teachers, PTA members, coaches and club leaders. Every school, club, team and organization are out there trying to sell something different to raise the necessary funds to accomplish their goals. While many fundraisers tend to happen around the beginning of the school year, schools tend to hold numerous fundraisers throughout the school year for different teams and clubs.

School and team fundraising provide the finances necessary for teams and clubs to purchase necessary equipment, travel to games and competitions. Fundraising can also provide schools with the ability to offer scholarships, start new programs, teams or clubs. School fundraising efforts also make the difference between a school thriving and providing their students with ample opportunities and resources; and simply surviving for other schools.

Because schools, teams, groups and clubs are dependent upon fundraising, it is in everyone’s best interest to invest in a fundraiser that will reap the most rewards. With so many different fundraising options available, it can be difficult to know which ones are worth the time and effort required to make them successful and which ones you should pass on.

A quick Google search for “school fundraising ideas”, will yield you with numerous results, all claiming to be the “best” school fundraiser. Some of the ideas that you might find, can be surprising and a bit extravagant, whereas other ideas are creative and highly successful. This can be a great way to jump-start your brain storming of different fundraisers that you might be interested in trying. You’ll be exposed to different ideas, many of which you may not have thought of before. Being presented with so many different options, can be daunting as you try to weed through them and find the right one for your school, club or team.

Prior to making a decision, you’ll need to do a bit of research and set some goals. How much time do you have to invest into promoting your fundraiser? How many people are going to be working alongside you to make your chosen fundraiser successful? How much money are you hoping to raise through your fundraising efforts? What are the success rates of the proposed fundraisers you are considering? Do their projections correspond with the goals you’ve set for your fundraising efforts? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you to determine which fundraisers you are considering will be worth the time and effort necessary to be successful.

Having students participate in fundraising, comes with many valuable life-skills that they will take with them long after their school days are behind them. These skills include leadership attributes and confidence. When students work together with their peers, they learn the valuable skill of teamwork, and working with others, including teachers and parents to ultimately reach their fundraising goals. Additionally, school fundraising provides parents and grandparents the opportunity to be involved in their child and grandchild’s life.

Again, when looking for your next school, club or team fundraiser, here are the top five that I believe are worth the time and effort….

School Fundraising Idea #1: Food

Food items are probably one of the most popular fundraisers there are, because everyone needs to eat. I’ve seen fundraisers where schools, teams and clubs are selling cookie dough, pizza, gourmet candy bars, discount drink cards, and large bags of potatoes. So, what is it about these types of fundraisers that make them so popular and wildly successful? I believe it is because they are easy to carry out, each participant reaches out to family, friends and neighbors to sell popular food items. These are items that most people generally enjoy consuming, or offer a great value at a discounted price. So, when they are able to purchase them, premade, and to support someone they know, most people are more inclined to make the purchase.

I know, I personally have purchased frozen cookie dough to support a neighbor’s daughter’s volleyball team. When asked if I’d like to purchase cookie dough, I didn’t even hesitate before readily agreeing. Cookie dough is one of those things that I like to have on hand, because I never know when I might need to make cookies. Plus, they were selling all my favorite flavors of cookie dough, which made it even more tempting to purchase.

Another popular one that I have seen a lot is schools, clubs and teams sell discount pizza cards. These are popular because not only are they relatively affordable, but they also offer great incentives for those who purchase them. Often times, discount pizza cards allow for the card holder to purchase pizzas at participating locations at a discounted price, or even earn free pizzas!

Food fundraisers are a win/win for everyone involved. Those who are selling the items for their fundraiser are raising the necessary funds they need, in a quick and easy way; while those who purchase the items get to reap the delicious benefits.

Other examples of food related fundraising ideas can include: doughnuts, cook books, smoothie discount cards, and even spaghetti dinner events. All of these fundraisers have been tried and proven to be successful as parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors are more inclined to purchase a food item that they can save and use at a later date, or indulge in right then. Additionally, having a discount card for pizza, or to your favorite smoothie shop can be incentive enough to make a purchase, as you know you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite items more than once, while saving money and contributing to a worthwhile fundraiser.

School Fundraising Idea #2: Local Restaurant Involvement

Similar to that of food fundraisers, another popular school fundraising idea that I have seen and participated in numerous times is that of involving the community. This typically includes local restaurants who are willing to donate a specific percentage of the profits made within a specified period of time to the fundraiser.

This is a great way to get the community involved in your fundraising efforts as people are always going out to eat, and are typically more inclined when they know they can eat and support a local school fundraiser. I have seen restaurants such as Pizza Pie Café, Chili’s and Chick-Fil-A participate in school fundraising. For me personally, when I hear about a local restaurant that is participating in a fundraiser, by giving a percentage back, I am more inclined to go out to dinner that night than I normally would be.

These types of fundraisers are so simple to do, as the majority of the work is done by the restaurant’s employees; all fundraiser organizers have to do is coordinate with the restaurant, and get the word out to their friends, family, neighbors and community. Even those who are unaware of a fundraiser going on, are able to contribute through their purchase of a meal, that they were going to purchase regardless of the fundraiser.

Unlike some other fundraisers, there may be some additional requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for a restaurant give back night. This may include being a non-profit organization, meeting size requirements, or disclosing the use of the funds raised and donated by the restaurant. Before signing up to do a school fundraiser through a restaurant, be sure that you check to see what all the requirements are.

While I was attending college, I was involved in a service club; where we would take our Spring Break and go to Mexico and do humanitarian projects, and help build homes for disabled individuals and families. This was always a rewarding experience to participate in, but it was also an expensive experience, as our club would have to purchase all the necessary building supplies. On top of that, all who went on the trip would have to pay their own way. Throughout the year, we would hold numerous fundraisers as a way to try and raise the necessary funds to purchase the supplies and to cut down on the out-of-pocket expenses of going on the trip.

The last year that I went on the trip, we had our most successful fundraiser ever; we had a dinner night at a local restaurant where a percentage of the profits from that night went to our club. As a busy college student, this was by far my favorite fundraiser as I knew that I needed to eat dinner that night, and I knew I also didn’t have a lot of extra time in my already busy schedule to devote to fundraising. This turned out to be a highly successful night, many people from our community turned out to help support our club and our goal of raising the necessary funds for our upcoming trip, while enjoying some delicious food! Through this fundraiser we were able to reach our fundraising goals, and have a successful spring break trip!

School Fundraising Idea #3: Coupon Books/Cards

Another extremely popular school fundraising idea that tends to do very well is that of selling coupon books and cards. These types of fundraisers tend to do so well because they offer numerous deals and promotions at a discounted price, with the funds going to support a local school.

A typical coupon book will have numerous coupons and special deals for local stores, restaurants and attractions. Included with the purchase of the coupon book, are coupons for everything from travel and entertainment to car and home maintenance. Most of the coupons offer a percentage off of services offered or a buy one, get one promotion. Those who have the coupon book are able to enjoy all the discounts for an entire year, in most cases, for one small price. I’ve seen some coupon books that costs around $25, and offer 100s of dollars of free items, along with thousands of dollars in savings. These are generally so popular because of all the good deals that can be found within. In fact, in my hometown, every year when school starts, I know people who will actively seek out students who are trying to sell the coupon books so that they can purchase a new one. Students don’t have to try and sell people on them, as they are so well known and well loved; people will purchase them year after year.

These are highly successful fundraisers, as they are easy to organize and carry out. Students are generally sent home with a sample booklet to show parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors to entice them to make a purchase. Once they see all the amazing offers that are included with the coupon book, it is hard to say “no” to purchasing one. In fact, some people even purchase more than one, that is how good of a deal they are!

School Fundraising Idea #4: Pajama/Free Dress Day

This fundraising idea is one that I wasn’t too familiar with until recently. This is more common in schools that require a school uniform, as it is easy for them to implement and carry out. The idea behind this fundraiser, is that on specific days, if students want to wear something other than their assigned school uniform (i.e., hats, pajamas, or free dress), they pay a dollar, or more, to do so.

This allows students to raise funds for their school, while doing something fun and out of the norm for them. Depending on the school, some will charge a dollar, or more, for the privilege of wearing a hat, and an additional dollar for free dress. This allows for students to choose how much they want to “pay” to wear what they want, or if they’d rather stick to their assigned uniform.

This is one of the simplest ways to raise money for schools, as it requires very little planning, advertising and work for the teachers, PTA, or school administration. Parents are also in favor of this type of fundraiser, as it is inexpensive, requires little to no extra effort on their part, as they only have to remember to send their child to school with the required amount to pay for the privilege of free dress for the day.

Students also tend to enjoy the idea of getting to wear something other than their school uniform, as their free dress wardrobe often is a better representation of their personality. While it is a fun and easy way for schools to raise money, not all students want to or are able to participate. This is what makes having a free dress day, a great fundraiser for schools is that is allows for students to participate if they want to, without feeling pressured that they have to participate. Many schools will have free dress days on a regular basis, such as once a month, or bi-weekly.

School Fundraising Idea #5: aGoodCause

agoodcause - Students and teacher

Another great way to raise funds for your school, club or team is through aGoodCause.com/Schools. This is a great way to raise funds from those beyond your local community, it allows for friends and family members who may not live close by the opportunity to contribute that otherwise would not be able to donate due to geographical constraints.

Unlike other fundraising options available, aGoodCause, makes it easy through their online platform that allows for fast and secure donations to be made to specific causes, teams, clubs and schools. This allows grandparents, aunts, uncles and others who would like to make a simple financial donation, the ability to do so without having to purchase anything.

One of the biggest differences between fundraising through aGoodCause and other options available is that aGoodCause gives the biggest percentage of money earned back to the organizer of the fundraiser. This is why a high school football team who have lost all their equipment due to a fire, a high school choir group who got invited to perform at a national championship in New York and a high school cheerleading team who is traveling to Las Vegas for a national tournament have elected to use aGoodCause for their fundraising efforts.

Another thing that makes fundraising through aGoodCause different than other online fundraising platforms, is they allow for you to assign a goal to each member of the team or club who is working towards raising the necessary funds to meet their goal. This creates a healthy level of competition between participants as they are all working towards achieving the same end goal. This is achieved by seeing how each participant is doing in terms of percentage of their goal of contributing to the overall team or club goal. This also helps to create a visual representation of the team work that goes into making fundraising successful. When we all work together to achieve a common goal, amazing things can and do happen!

This can prove to be especially beneficial, as many clubs and teams who are raising funds are those who are involved in high school fundraising efforts for their school sports teams, fine arts departments and clubs. Often times these groups are trying hard to raise funds so that they can participate in prestigious or national competitions or they have been invited to perform at elite venues. Regardless of where they are trying to get to, the bottom line is many schools do not have it in their budgets to send clubs and teams to competitions and performances without team fundraising.

When schools, clubs and team fundraising is accomplished through aGoodCause, there is no inventory for you to keep track of or be responsible for. aGoodCause makes fundraising simple and easy, just the way that it should be. As an approved fundraising vendor of countless school districts located throughout the United States, it is just one more way that aGoodCause stands out from the rest, helping to secure you with a fundraising campaign that will be successful.

To learn more about how aGoodCause can help you with your next school, club or team fundraiser, please visit https://aGoodCause.com/Schools/.

How to Get Started with aGoodCause

As you can see, there are lots of fun, creative and diverse ways to get your students involved in raising funds for their school, along with specific clubs and teams that they are members of. For those that have helped to organize fundraisers in the past, know that they can be a lot of work and don’t always reap the rewards equal to the efforts expended. This is what makes aGoodCause different. It is easy to create a campaign, share and promote your campaign, and invite others to donate through a secure online platform. Next time you’re in charge of coming up with school fundraising ideas, consider adding aGoodCause to your list.

Fundraising no longer has to be a daunting task that school administrators, teachers and PTA members dread having to organize and execute. Thanks to aGoodCause, you are able to quickly establish a cause that allows for students, faculty and staff to raise the necessary funds without having to add “fundraiser” to their never-ending to-do list.

aGoodCause has revolutionized the world of fundraising, by making it fun, safe and easy to do. Parents no longer have to worry about their children canvassing the neighborhood or community asking for donations or trying to sell products to raise money, it is all done online!

To get your fundraising started, visit https://aGoodCause.com/Schools/

Here you will be able to create a campaign specific to your school, club or team. You will also find other campaigns that you can donate to, if you feel so inclined to do so. From here, you’ll be able to share your campaign with the rest of your school, team and club members, parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors and so many more. Raising money for your school, club or team has never been easier. Visit https://aGoodCause.com/Schools/ and get started with your school fundraising today!

 

Author: Ashley Christensen

 

Sources:

https://donorbox.org/nonprofit-blog/school-fundraising-ideas/

https://funds2orgs.com/school-fundraising-ideas-guide/

 

 

Changing the World Starts with You

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to change the world. In fact, it is the only way it ever has.” -Margaret Mead

Change is inevitable.  It is the only thing consistent in the world truly.  Comfort in life surrounds our ability to adapt to change.  Our jobs, friendships and opportunities look different year after year.   In high school we thought we had found our tribe. Our friends were life. We often prefer them to our family during these formative years.  Yet, look how many we know as intimately today. Very few have stayed in our circle.  We evolved and changed.  It was the nonviolent, civil rights leader Gandhi who stated “be the change you wish to see in the world.” What if we all made conscious choices in our lives with his words at the forefront of our actions? The change we desire is our own reflection.

Tragedy does not discriminate.   We are all vulnerable to heartache.  Illness, death, and untimely accidents are in every walk of life.  We can grow from change or remain stagnant.  The choice is always our own.

Leading actor Keanu Reeves grew up with an absentee father.  He struggled his entire childhood with the learning disability dyslexia. He met failure often in new schools. Keanu lost his best friend, fellow actor River Phoenix, when he was still very young. Soon after, his younger sister began a decade long fight with leukemia in the early 90’s.  It would appear the world was against him and he was set up to fail.  Yet, Keanu’s name is easily recognized in every corner of the world.   He embodies Gandhi’s words beautifully.   Keanu has said he’s made more than enough money to live comfortable for decades.  Keanu is a true humanitarian who helps change the lives around him.  He goes out of his way to learn the names on movie sets he acts.  On the set of his popular film, “The Matrix”, Keanu heard of a set designer who was struggling.  He paid them $20,000 dollars to help at Christmas.  He saw an immediate need and he acted on it.  He was the change this family needed.  Just imagine the difference his generosity made to this man and his family.

Additionally, Keanu often takes the subway.  One would assume a rich and wealthy public figure would have a private car service.  He has been photographed giving up his seat on the subway when crowds did not provide enough seats.  Pregnant and elderly women benefited from his act of kindness. He made a decision to be the change.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”  – Barack Obama.  We all possess the ability to make a difference and be the change.   Be the change the world needs.  The world will adapt around you. Changing the world truly begins with you!

Author: K.A. Potts

Your Smile Can Change the World

I want to change the world. Many people say that same phrase but usually it means something grandiose, like becoming president of the United States. But for me, I don’t have anything that big in mind. Partly because I’m realistic. I know that I will most likely never be the president of the US. I am also fully aware that I have no desire to be president of the United States, therefore, I wouldn’t even try. I want to change the world, but I think there’s an easier way than devoting years of my life to politicizing.

In fact, changing the world may be as easy as one small movement with my face muscles.  Just doing this one small thing can potentially make a difference in the world, not just for me but also for those around me. Some might say that this one small thing can affect change more than all the money in all the foundations in all the world. That’s a whole lot of power.

The one small movement that holds all this power? A smile. It seems grandiose to say that a smile can change the world. But I fully believe in the power of positivity; I’m positive that positivity can change the world and I’m positive that a smile can spread positivity. Just imagine how you feel when you smile. That happy, joyous feeling that floats inside you, bubbling to the top of your body and bursting out your face like the sun breaking through the horizon. Sometimes when I’m feeling pessimistic I almost don’t want to smile because I know that it can change my attitude almost instantly and sometimes I just want to be grumpy. But a smile has that kind of power. There’s a reason people say that a smile can light up your face.

Hello Happiness, Goodbye Sadness - AgoodcauseAccording to a 2009 study done at Wayne State University, a smile in a photograph can predict longevity and an overall better life. It states, “Emotions affect personalities and life outcomes by influencing how people think, behave, and interact with others…” Our emotions affect how we behave and interact with the world around us. The study goes on, “People with positive emotions are happier and have more stable personalities, more stable marriages, and better cognitive and interpersonal skills than those with negative emotions, throughout the lifespan…” So, positivity can change the world because it makes for a better home and life. Smiling is truly a worthy cause.

Sadness is an important emotion too, don’t get me wrong. Pixar’s “Inside Out” taught us that very important lesson–sadness needs to be felt and expressed because if we ignore it, it will cause a chain reaction and tear down all our islands of personalities. But when it comes to being sad or being happy, most importantly we should choose positivity. Because although we can’t literally change the world with just a smile, we can change our attitudes and interactions with others just by smiling.

So, let’s all smile a little more, we just might change the world.

Study: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797610363775

Author: Briana Pugh

Why Give Service

 

It’s seven A.M. and I have already retrieved my son from the neighbor’s yard. They woke up to find him staring in their back window with a toy sword shoved down the back of his shirt in the hopes that one of their kids would come out and play.

Just as I get the four-year-old back to the house I see my two-year-old’s tongue pressed against the glass of the sliding back door.

“Buddy don’t lick the window,” I say, mentally adding another strange instruction to my list of things I never thought I’d say.

Then, I notice the smell of chili powder and… curry? It’s coming from the kitchen. With the two-year-old safely removed from the horrors of my sliding glass door, which ironically actually looks cleaner than it did before, I hurry to find our six-year-old with every spice imaginable pulled from the cupboard and red puffs rising from the bowl she grips in the crook of her little arm, “Look Mommy! I decided to make taco seasoning for Poppy! Do you think he’ll like it?”

Before I can answer, she’s licked her finger, thrust it into the mixture and declared, “It needs more salt. Will you taste it?”

A strangled sound comes from my mouth, and based on my daughter’s face, I can tell she’s not sure whether I’m going to laugh or cry. I’m not sure either.

Welcome to my life. If I could sum it up in one word, that would probably be, “Messy”.

agoodcause - volunteer

I know I’m not the only one, just as you think you’re about to have time to do more, to volunteer, to spend time getting to know the community, life changes, things come up, it gets hard. I was once asked by someone about a service my church offers, he said, “I always hear people say they love doing it, but they can’t seem to find the time. If it’s really that great, why is it so hard to get out and do it?”

It’s tempting to say because I’m too busy chasing my son out of the neighbor’s yard to leave the house, let alone do service. Or, if I have some extra cash, I’m getting a babysitter!

And I doubt anyone would judge me if I did say that, but the truth is that the very reasons we have trouble leaving the house to volunteer or donate are the very reasons why we need to.

I’m reminded of a time a neighbor was sick and in need of some meals. At the time, we only had one vehicle and one child. I made dinner, packed my daughter into the stroller, and headed out to do some service. Five years later, I don’t remember the crazy details of that day, but I do remember how I felt when I left home for a moment and thought about someone else’s needs instead of my own. I remember thinking how much easier it was than I had expected, and I remember the joy on my neighbor’s face as she played with my daughter. The entire experience wasn’t an interruption to my day, it was a break.

I’m not advocating putting so much pressure on ourselves that we break from the burden of it all, but I’ve learned from experience that when we give where we can, our own trials seem lighter, and we can step back just enough to push the strangled laugh-cry into genuine mirth. Life isn’t going to get any less crazy, but by giving of ourselves the crazy is put into perspective, and it turns out, a little crazy can be a lot of fun.

Author:  Amber Mae

 

6 Small Things to do to Make a Difference

When we think of charity work and providing service to those around us, we may feel overwhelmed as we imagine labor-intensive and time-consuming projects such as rebuilding homes after natural disasters and cleaning up a run-down park in an older area of town. However, providing relief and help to others in our community doesn’t have to be anything difficult or extravagant. Think back to when you were facing something difficult in your life and remember what small things others did for you that really helped you. Maybe you received a thank-you note or were given a plate of cookies. Often small acts of kindness are all that is needed to be able to make a difference in someone else’s day. Here are six small and simple ways that you can help someone in need.

Donate

If you’re looking for something to do for others this week, make it a goal to donate to someone else in need; even if all you can give is $5. You can tip your waiter more than usual, give it to a homeless person, find a charity or good cause online, or tape a five-dollar bill to the vending machine on campus or at work. Even though $5 isn’t a lot of money, it can still help someone in need and brighten their day.

Initiate a Conversation

Whether you are on the bus or waiting in line at the grocery store, try starting a conversation with someone around you. You can begin by complimenting their outfit and then asking them how their day went. Make eye contact and pay attention to what they say. Having a quick but uplifting conversation can help raise that individual’s spirits for the rest of their day.

aGoodCause - Helping someone to enter the room

Hold the Door Open

It’s always nice when someone is willing to take a few extra seconds to hold the door open when you are entering a building or room. This small act doesn’t take a lot of time or effort, but your awareness of those around you can help them to feel noticed and valued.

Bring in the Trash Cans

On trash day, once the garbage man has done his rounds, bring your neighbor’s trash cans in from the curb and up their driveway. It won’t take you long, but your neighbor will appreciate the nice gesture.

Buy a Little Extra

Each time you’re at the grocery store this month, pick up a few extra canned goods. These don’t have to be expensive and you can even purchase ones that are on sale. After one month of buying a little bit extra food each visit to the grocery store, take these items down to the local shelter or to a neighbor in need. Even though you are donating just a little bit, they will appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity.

Start a Fundraising Campaign

When someone you know is experiencing something difficult, it can be hard to know what exactly to do for them. However, starting a fundraising campaign can be a simple, but very helpful service to provide. Not only will the funds you raise provide some relief for them, in their time of need, but seeing the donations from their community members can help them to feel the love and support of others.

Even if you feel that you have limited resources or not enough time to volunteer, there are still plenty of ways you can help others in your community. Try doing one of these small acts and you’ll be surprised at the difference you can have on the lives of those around you.

 

Author:  Brindisi Olsen Bravo