10 Jan

She Can Have My Time

Posted by Jenna, Under Wishes

Videos like this one I learned about from Abbie always make me cry. I think because they remind me I can change things if I try.

I visited the Girl Effect website but I still feel unsatisfied. I don’t have money to give, but I have plenty of time. I want to find a way to directly influence the life of someone in need.

How do you give?

13 Comments


  1. I mentor two women (one who is learning to read and is older than me, the other who is living in poverty, has very low self esteem and is younger than me). They’re both very rewarding and life changing relationships.

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  2. work at a local orphanage or family support and treatment center. libraries also offer really great programs where you can volunteer to read or help someone learn how to read :)

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  3. Oh I am glad you are interested in giving back. I think too many times people thinking that you have to give in HUGE dramatic ways. You Do NOT.

    Here I volunteer at least once a month at the homeless shelter, participate with the United Way on one time service projects and I help fundraise for The Village Of Hope. I used to volunteer at the mental hospital and the Youth Detention Center here. People all over just need someone to believe in them, or their cause. All of these opportunities have been amazing.

    I am really lucky. My family had the opportunity to go to Ethiopia a few years back. It changed our lives. We now run an educational program out there that is sort of multifaceted. 1. The children’s education expense is covered. 2. The fathers have to work so many hours a week for the community. This is paid labor. 3. The get employment bonuses like clean well water, seeds for gardens, chickens and so on. 4. There is a women’s education program for the mothers to learn parenting and business skills.

    It has been a lot of fun to be able to help make a huge difference in the village we work in. I get to go back again in April, which I am looking forward to. We are always looking for financial support as well as supplies. The nice thing about giving in a developing nation is that your money seems to go farther. And the ripple effect we never could have imagined is amazing. BUT you don’t have to be in Africa or the developing nations to make a difference. Try any of the following organizations:

    http://www.bbbs.org/
    http://www.ywca.org/
    http://www.Habitat.org
    http://www.volunteernorthtexas.org/volunteercenter

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  4. Unfortunately I don’t have many suggestions for things we can do directly that don’t involve money – I just wanted to thank you for posting this video. A little while back I took an amazing class at BYU called International Political Economy of women. I was absolutely blown away at just how integral women all over the world are not just to their families, but to their whole society, and how time and time again lifting up women and giving them the tools to reach their potential had huge exponential effects in raising up everyone around them.

    I don’t know much about the Girl Effect, but I want to give a shout out for KIVA. They do some amazing things helping people (especially women) get started . It’s amazing how much a small donation can help, especially as once the original loan gets repaid (which almost always happens) the money goes on to help someone else out. It’s a wonderful and easy way to get involved in directly helping someone lift themselves up.

    I also really like the suggestion to look for ways we can be directly involved with people. I always tell myself that I’m to busy, and I try to help in other ways, but I can’t think of anything greater than getting directly involved with helping and serving an individual. I’ll definitely be checking this thread for suggestions.

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  5. I decided to help fund loans to people, this time a woman, in a developing country through Kiva.org. My money is helping Adela in Peru build a kiosk to sell groceries. When she repays the loan, I will “pay it forward” and help fund someone else. Their minimum funding amount is $25.

    This little movie touched my heart, since Adela is doing what this “girl” did.

    I think that each of us can make a difference, either through volunteer work or donations or both. I also do a monthly drop off at Goodwill or elsewhere; I hope those things that are no longer useful to me can help out someone else.

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  6. Hmmm … Last year, I volunteered with “Junior Achievement”. I don’t know if it’s a regional charity, but essentially they teach youth about business. They have several programs, including (for teenagers) starting up small businesses – which earns them high school credits. Another program, the one I volunteered for, is going into grade 8 classrooms and teaching “The Economics of Staying In School” (ESIS). Literally, 3 of us taught the grade 8s for the ENTIRE DAY! It was so fun – lessons plans, games & so on are already done. We had them pick “jobs” from a list of low wage jobs, which gave them an income, then using REAL classified ads and food flyers, they had to budget for rent and food, create weekly grocery lists. Most of them couldn’t do it – either they weren’t realistic on their food or they couldn’t make it on the wage. So we had them go to school or do an apprenticeship (choices ranged from nursing to teaching to engineer to welder, and so on). Then, they calculated how much it cost to get finished, told them the average income upon program completion and average income after 5-10 years experience. Then, based on THAT income, they did a budget.

    It was so fun. I would like to do it again, so hopefully I’ll do it this spring!

    I also give money to charities, because I am fortunate enough to be in a position to do so. Just 3 years ago, I was not – I was in grad school then.

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  7. Thanks for all the suggestions!
    I know TH would get really excited about the idea of a volunteer experience that inspires kids in the area of economics and business so I just sent an email to Junior Achievement to see if I can be of help to them. Of course I’ll be blogging about the whole experience!

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  8. I keep meaning to get involved in some kind of volunteer work but it’s so easy for that to get bumped to the bottom of the to-do list when we feel like other things are more “important.” Everything I end up doing generally involves money – Special Olympics and The S. June Smith Center are the organizations most dear to my heart.

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  9. One activity that my roommate used to work with in Dallas was the International Rescue Committee. She was paired with a Soviet refugee woman who was about 22 at the time. Her family had to flee because they were Christians and she came with her elderly mother and younger brother. In the last six years, the girl has gotten a full scholarship to college and graduated from business school from the University that we attended in Dallas. Melena may have been able to do that all on her own, but my friend & her boyfriend really took the family under their wing and taught them everything from spelling and punctuation to how to make homemade icecream and how to navigate the job search process.

    Given your new family’s international roots and your devotion to helping people with time, maybe y’all would be interested in “adopting” a family or person from IRC?
    http://www.theirc.org

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  10. Celina and Cristin-What wonderful suggestions! I’m loving this post, it has me really inspired to “wake up and do something more” and make someones life a little bit better.

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  11. I had never heard of Girl Effect. Thanks for sharing this Jenna.

    Micro-finance is still a rather new concept to most people. For anyone on the east coast who is interested in partnering with a local organization, check out Hope International at http://www.hopeinternational.org. They are a faith-based micro-finance firm operating in 14 different countries around the world. You can partner with HI by donating money or by going on a mission like trip with them and see how lives are changed through micro-finance.

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  12. The micro credit was started by the nobel peace Muhammad Yunus with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The man also discovered through his loans that women are more likely to make good use of their loan than men… It’s a fascinating story if you never heard it, his bank has a better money return with its small loans than any other banks ever.

    Back to what you can do: volunteer, definitely. If it’s time you have then that’s the best thing to do.
    You can volunteer to help people or help the environment. You can big a big sister for a kid/teenager and help them out, you can visit elderly people and make their day and learn things…
    Volunteering is a great thing, and not only do you help people, enrich yourself, but sometimes that’s how you make contacts and find a job (and it looks good on a resume on the practical side).
    I look forward to hear from what your experience will be.

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  13. I volunteer to help with terminal cancer patients and their families. I run errands & just do things around the house that need to be done. My dad died of cancer & I know how nice it would have been to have someone helping out with things while I was trying to take care of him & my 8 yr old brother.

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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