By Cheryl Mahoney
When I was still in school, especially elementary school, I always bitterly resented anyone who started discussing “Back to School” when it was only midway through the summer. But I’m afraid that’s my topic today. It’s mid-July, so the schoolbooks aren’t looming in the immediate future…but that last month until the end of August and the beginning of the school year flies by. That means it’s time for getting new uniforms, buying pencils, figuring out class schedules…and also a good time to give back, whether you’re a student or no.
I recently read an article in The New York Times about Do Something 101. DoSomething.org and Staples are partnering together for the second year to help low-income students get the school supplies they need. I love the idea of empowering kids to help kids, and doing it in a way that makes sense. If kids are getting school supplies for themselves, they can easily understand what it means to give school supplies to another kid.
For the campaign this year, DoSomething and Staples have added a social media element, using Facebook to help spread awareness. There’s a Facebook page, from which you can get a virtual backpack, to encourage the donation of real supplies. Good angle–almost every student I know is on Facebook!
DoSomething is a great organization (and a UniversalGiving partner, by the way) which I believe we mentioned a few posts ago. DoSomething is designed to motivate teenagers to get involved, by using the power of the internet. You could say that they’re making giving easy! If you go to their website, right there on the homepage you can search for action opportunities, based on cause, who you want to work with (alone, family, sports team…), where you want to work (online, at school, at home…) and, my favorite, how long you want to spend–from one minute to a year. I did a search on one minute options–225 of them. As a perpetually busy person who was always busy in high school too (I attended a Catholic college-preparatory school for young women, and have rarely had so much to do), I love the idea of one minute ways to give back.
Visit DoSomething.org for fun and easy ways to make a difference–for instance, donating school supplies through Do Something 101! Even if you’re not a teenager, I’m sure you can find a good opportunity. Maybe one that takes just a minute.