I give back to a few organizations, but I think the one I’m most vocal about is HAULYP. Ask any of my fellow members of the YP affiliate of the Houston Area Urban League what’s something I say a lot and they’ll either say “all is well” (a mantra I live by and have lived by for over a decade), and “I’m just here to serve”. That second phrase is a short one, but a very powerful one. I was taught at a young age that it’s not just enough to be successful, you have to give back to the community that helped raise you, and for me that’s the local Black and Brown ones.
I went out of town this past weekend for a conference and I was reminded why I made the decision to join this organization and why I continue to still choose it time and time again. We were able to fellowship with other YP chapters, national board members and as usual we did quite a bit of giving back. In addition to our monetary donations, we had a beautification project and even found a way to combine two things we love, a good party and giving back to kids! Our ‘Cocktails & Kicks’ party benefited some local kids and we had a huge table full of sneakers for them at the end of the night. Now I know that this might sound like a lot, but there are a ton of easy ways to give back to your favorite organizations.
Cut the check – This is probably the most common way you see folks giving back. Now it doesn’t have to be an actual check, but financial donations are popular for a reason. The funds go towards good causes and the appropriate parties are in charge of making sure they get used properly.
Put in work – This is another popular way folks give back. Volunteering your time and talents go a long way! Whether you’re a board member, a whiz with fundraising, a social media maven or graphic designer, your time and skills are priceless and can help organizations too!
Advocate for them – “Diversity Training” is a term that’s been quite popular recently and organizations like the Urban League and other organizations that advocate for underprivileged communities are often asked to speak at these kinds of events. So make those introductions, be the liaison between your organization and company’s ERG representative. And it doesn’t stop there, many corporations will also match employee donations up to a certain amount so max out those matches and have your dollars stretch further.
Use your words – March, protest, speak to your local, state and federal reps, and amplify those who are already doing good work. It takes five seconds to sign a petition and even less time to re-share something on social media. You might be one voice, but you’re one of MANY voices.
How are you guys giving back? I’d love to be able to make this an interactive post and do a part two with your suggestions! Feel free to comment below or send me an email and let me know!