I believe that is is human nature to want to help others when we can. Two of the biggest hurdles in giving to others are knowing who or what needs help, and then what we, within each of our personal constraints as individuals can do. We also each have our own personal causes and issues we care about. That is one of the reasons that I love sharing stories on my blog of people who make a difference in some way large or small, and hopefully inspire others to do the same. There are so many ways to give, and the book Simple Giving is a perfect guide to how we each can contribute in a positive way to this world.
The book was born from Jennifer’s blog www.anotherjennifer.com and her Philanthropy Friday series. She began to see certain patterns in the types of philanthropy that she featured, and for the book she breaks them down into six different giving models.
- Everyday acts of kindness that can be done everyday for little or no money. An example of this could be as simple as paying someone a compliment.
- A new approach to philanthropy which is setting a mindset of giving, even if that amount is small, as a way to make the world a better place.
- Shopping with a conscience which has become almost mainstream, consumers want to buy products that give back, are made in an environmentally friendly way, help others to earn a sustainable income, or all three.
- Finding your passion and doing something about it. Start your own non-profit, advocate, be the change you want to see!
- Giving as business model, or social enterprise.
- Giving it forward means modeling good giving behavior and showing others the way forward.
In Simple Giving Jennifer details case studies for each giving model, and then lays out a “how to” at the end of each chapter.
I found this book incredibly inspiring, and came away feeling like Simple Giving had given me tools to channel my own philanthropy in new ways. I also now have the desire to give this book to everyone I know as holiday gifts! I think a book like this makes a wonderful present, and just think that when the recipient is in turn inspired by the book it turns into a gift that keeps giving forward. It has been scientifically proven that when we give or help others we feel happier, and Simple Giving offers each of us a place to start or place to grow our philanthropy in practical ways.
We are in luck that Simple Giving is out in time for holiday giving, and giving back! Get your copy here.
Author Jennifer Iacovelli
Jennifer Iacovelli is a writer, speaker and consultant. As Chief engagement officer of the Another Jennifer Writing Lab, Jennifer helps entrepreneurs , bloggers, and nonprofits tell their story. She is also the author of the Another Jennifer blog, and creator of the Simple Giving Lab. She writes for Mom Bloggers For Social Good as part of the Global Team of 200 and is a regular contributor to World Moms Blog and HuffPost Divorce. Jennifer is also contributing author of the book The Mother Of All Meltdowns. Her work has been featured on GOOD, BlogHer, USAID Impact, Feed The Future and the PSI Impact Blog. She is based in Brunswick, Maine.
Photo by Elizabeth Atalay
Many years ago traveling in Africa I took this photo of young girls carrying these huge jugs of water through their village to their homes. This is a snapshot of a scene that I saw played out time and again in my travels through the continent. Lines at village hand pumps, and heavy jerry cans balanced on heads, hours fetching water that could otherwise have been spent by these young girls in school, or by the women earning a living. By being there, at times the amount of effort put into accessing the most basic of human necessities, and the conservation required once obtained, became my own reality as well. Having grown up with an abundance of water, this was a sharp learning curve on what a precious commodity water is. It is easy to take it for granted when you have it, until you don’t. According to statistics from WaterAid the average North American uses 400 liters of water every day, while the average person in the developing world uses 10 liters of water every day for their drinking, washing and cooking. (Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)) So, while I returned home to the many taps of flowing water inside my house with a new appreciation for that luxury, 783 million people around the world are without clean water to drink. Combine that fact with the lack of proper sanitation in many of the same regions and the result is 2,000 children who die each day from water related diseases.
The United Nations has established March 22nd as a day to examine water issues around the world.
WaterAid is an International non-profit organization that helps the world’s poorest people to plan, build and manage their own safe water supplies and to improve their sanitation and hygiene. These basic services transform lives.
“Water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty. Hours spent carrying water can instead be spent with family, tending crops, raising livestock or starting a business. Simple changes to sanitation and hygiene practices save thousands of babies’ lives and keep children in school.”- WaterAid.
How you can help:
- Watch, and share the below video:
Follow WaterAid America on Twitter and Facebook and share their posts on the #20ways that water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty.
- Join the World Water Day Google+ Hangout at 1.30pm EST on March 22 where WaterAid and other water organizations will be discussing the world water crisis and solutions in a celebration moderated by YouTube star Justine Ezarik.
- Make a donation: as experts in practical, hands-on water solutions WaterAid has brought clean water to 17.5 million people. But they need your help to achieve their aim of helping 1.4 million more people this year.
Visit www.wateraidamerica.org/worldwaterday for all the latest World Water Day news.
I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.
Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.
Love & Water
“Water Is The Driving Force In Nature”- Leonardo da Vinci
Love is another driving force in human nature, like water it has the ability to be pure and powerful, and we need to help each other like we need Love & Water. Water is the lifeblood of the world, and it is hard to appreciate how valuable it is unless you don’t have it.
Worldwide 800 million people do not have access to it and 2.5 billion have nowhere safe and clean to go to the toilet. As a result, 2,000 children die every day from easily prevented diarrheal diseases with countless more unable to attend school. Millions of women are unable to work because they spend so much time collecting water and caring for sick children.- Water Aid
Clean water and sanitation are two issues that I am passionate about. Read the rest of this entry