Ten Lessons in Giving and A Win $100 Visa Gift Card So You Can Give, Too! #Giveaway
|December 11, 2014||Posted by Tracy Knutsen under Make A Difference|
Thanks to Medtronic for sponsoring today’s discussion.
Don’t forget to read through to the end to learn how you can win a VISA gift card to
give back to your own community!
For some, it can be overwhelming or intimidating to hear about grandiose charity events or foundation projects around the world, but the Bakken Honorees know that everyone has something they can contribute to their community, and there’s no better time than now to make it happen.
“Greatness is determined by service.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you’re like most people, you want to make a difference and have a positive impact. But maybe you don’t know what to do, where to go or when to do it. This year’s honorees have learned that the time is now and that there is no challenge too big to change their course of greatness.
Medtronic has selected 10 honorees from around the world, each of whom has overcome a life-changing medical challenge, such as heart disease, scoliosis or diabetes, and has realized the true brevity of life. These people had every excuse to give up, leave their troubles at the hospital and try to return to their lives before their crisis. But they didn’t. They realized that they have been granted a second opportunity to live each day to the fullest.
They are each receiving a $20,000 charitable grant from Medtronic to further their mission and charity work. Please go here to read their full stories and learn what inspires them. Each honoree has provided a life tip that encourages everyone to do what they can to give back.
Medtronic’s Bakken Invitation celebrates and connects people, who with the help of medical technology, are contributing in communities all around the world through charitable service and volunteerism. It embraces the legacy of Medtronic co-founder and humanitarian Earl Bakken. It culminates in the celebration of ten Bakken Invitation Honorees, who are recognized for outstanding contributions.
Just as the honorees are giving their time, resources and talents, Medtronic wants everyone to do what they can—big or small—to give back. We don’t need a life-altering moment to start giving back. There are little ways we can give back and make a difference, starting now.
5 Ways Anyone Can Give Back
In general, the things that matter most to us are family, friends, faith, health, love, career, happiness and, let’s be honest…pets! To give back in a way that’s the most impactful to both you and your community, you should offer service to what matters most to you.
1. Are you a military family or close to one? Write a letter to a military hero and encourage others to do so. There are over 2 million active and reserve men and women in the U.S. military alone. Thousands of troops are deployed indefinitely in remote parts of the world and they love receiving good wishes and words of appreciation and encouragement, even from total strangers. In fact, letters are the most requested item by military men and women. There are many ways to find a soldier if you don’t know any personally. Start here: AnySoldier.com, Operation Gratitude, and Soldiers’ Angels. We simply can’t take them for granted.
2. Help the hungry. Food is the second largest expense for families and more than 35 million Americans aren’t getting enough to eat. Over 12.5 million of those are children. One-third of families must choose between buying food and buying medicine. Locate an organization near you that supports hungry families. Learn what they need, then help them provide it. Donate your time. Go through your pantry. Create a food drive. As you strive to help end someone’s hunger, you will gain a new appreciation for the food on your own table. Heads up everyone – this is a year-round problem…not just at holiday time.
Mother Teresa said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” Think about what would happen if we all just fed one.
3. Adopt a pet and/or help out at an animal shelter. There are nearly 6,000 animal shelters with close to 8 million dogs and cats placed in them each year. Half of them are euthanized. We get only about 15% of our pets from shelters. Why is this? Animals are completely unconcerned about your age, your looks or your physical ability. They accept you as you are and offer unconditional love and companionship. If you’re unable to adopt a new pet, help shelters take care of their residents. Volunteer at a local shelter or learn what they have on their Wish List. Make it happen. Shelters need lots of supplies that we wouldn’t normally think of – latex gloves, paper towels, garbage bags, bleach and laundry detergent, not to mention the endless need for kitty litter.
4. Donate books. 61% of low-income families have no books in their home. 55% of children have an increased interest in reading when given books at an early age, yet there is only 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods. Go through your bookshelves and pull out those books you won’t read again or have had more than a couple of years, but haven’t read yet. Deliver them to your local library, food pantry, hospital, nursing home, school or children’s organization. Organize a book drive in your neighborhood or at your church. Imagine if your couldn’t read this…and seriously, you’re not going to read those books again. Give them to someone who will.
5. Mentor a child. 3 million children are currently enrolled in a mentoring program, but over 15 million actually need mentoring. The ones we’re missing are 73% more likely to begin using alcohol, 63% more likely to skip class and 54% more likely to use drugs. Mentors help children develop self-confidence, relationship skills and positive attitudes. Find a mentoring program near you and apply to become a mentor. There’s one associated with most school districts and at Boys and Girls Clubs. Spend some time every week with your mentee doing things like homework, playing ball, cooking or crafts, or how about this one…talking. It doesn’t matter what you do, just that you truly care. Encourage others to become mentors. Find ways to support and help sustain mentor programs. Nearly 3 million youth between the ages of 12 and 15 are at risk of suicide every year and over 35% will actually attempt it. That’s about 2,700 kids every day. What?!?! Get out there and help.
There are lots of other things you can do to make a difference. How could you spend $100 in a creative way to make an impact? How do you creatively help others?
What inspires you to give back?
Win a $100 prepaid Visa® gift card to help give back within your own community
by sharing how you would use the money to do something good.
The winner is free to choose how the money is spent, but it should benefit your community in some way. Do you want to buy food for a local food pantry? Planting trees or beautify a local park? Paint a mural? Gather supplies for care packages? Pay to teach CPR to a group? Buy snacks for the local bloodmobile? Bring cookies to firefighters or law enforcement? Bottled water and warm socks to the homeless?
In the Comments section below, tell us what you’d do with $100 to make a difference. Have a couple of ideas? Go to the Nest Full of New Facebook page and leave your other ideas there. The winner will be chosen on December 29, 2014 and will receive a $100 Visa gift card directly from Medtronic in support of the Bakken Invitation “Live On. Give On.” initiative.