Just recently, Krista Jefferson posted a crazy pic on Facebook of her and her sister – and George Clooney. As of this moment the pic has 367 Likes and 87 comments. It is, by far, one of the most popular posts by Krista.
Fair warning - I am the girl that always asks “why”. Its very annoying to people around me – I know. :) In this case, I wondered why, when a picture is posted about the people Krista and Just One is helping in Africa, does it get a few Likes, yet a picture of someone that makes movies for a living gets so many? I understand George Clooney is famous and Jack Nywanga from Kenya is not.
My thoughts went further: Topics like celebrity entertainment are fun and light whereas topics like poverty and war are quite the opposite. George Clooney is just a guy with a great job and “liking” his picture is thoughtless. HIV+ women seeking out an existence in the slums provokes a range of emotions that aren't enjoyable.
My Facebook feed is full of friends sharing their lives but also updates from non-profits on horrible things going on in the world. It's tempting and easy to ignore the realities I scroll through. I could stop following these organizations, I know. But I want to know, I really do. Sometimes it's overwhelming and I feel paralysed. There are so many causes and organizations out there. Busyness creeps into my life making it difficult to even think outside of my own little world.
So – Sarah to the rescue! You CAN change the world. One person cannot change the world but each of us can play a part. Luckily, there are many choices out there where you can benefit as well as doing good. There are tons of options out there, this is just a quick list I was able to come up with:
1. Just One. You may have heard about this social enterprise... (since you're on our blog.) It's pretty simple – you purchase jewelry and/or accessories and the women and men in Kenya and Uganda who makes the pieces are able to support themselves and their families.
2. Warby Parker. Super stylish glasses and for every pair you buy, a pair is donated to someone in
3. Bridgewater Candle Company. For every candle purchased, a meal is provided for orphans overseas.
4. Roma Boots. For every pair of Roma Boots sold, a brand new pair stuffed with educational supplies is donated to a child in need. I LOVE the floral boots!
5. Happie Blankies. For every blanket purchased you get to choose where to donate another.
6. This one isn't for everyone (ahem...guys!) but I totally love the idea. Ruby Cup is a menstrual cup. For every cup purchased, one is donated to a girl in Kenya. At first I was a little skeptical because I wasn't sure that menstrual cups were even a thing in Kenya, let alone a device that was deemed socially and medically acceptable. I was happy to see that Ruby Cup did their homework to ensure this would work.
7. Hand in Hand Soap. Beautiful designs and for every product purchased, Hand in Hands's Clean Water Collection donates one bar of soap and one month of clean water to a child in the developing world.
World change doesn't have to come from your wallet. Here are some other small ways that you can have a ripple affect on the world around you:
Intentionally leave things behind – the quarter in the shopping cart (this one made my day once! Saved my trip to the store), money in the vending machine, a finished magazine or newspaper left around the office or places people are stuck waiting – medical or dental office or the car repair shop.
Model and teach your kids kindness and inclusion– this can be a tough one to model at times but if we can teach our kids to be kind and seek out the lonely person in every situation – the new student at school or the kid that no one wants to sit with on the bus. Not only will this bring joy to the person on the receiving end but our kids can grow up to be kind and other-centered adults. Can you imagine a world where we are always seeking to have others included? That would be a wonderful world!
Invite people into your lives - this sounds simple and it can be. I can guarantee there are lonely people in your daily spaces, be it work, school, church etc. Invite them to dinner with your family. We have done this with Thanksgiving dinner in the past and just extended an open invitation at church to anyone who didn't have someone to share their turkey dinner with. It was not your typical sit-com neat-and-tidy dinner (but with as many kids as I have most dinners aren't). As crazy family time can be, I want my kids to be involved in sharing our time and our dinner table with others. The lonely people in your spaces would most likely just like to hang out, nothing fancy: coffee, movie, a walk in the park.
Let's end the list there so that you aren't overwhelmed with options. If you decide to try one of these - buy a product, have dinner with a stranger - let us know!!!
Sarah lives in Northern Ontario with her family. Sarah and her husband have four children, and one grandson. She is an avid reader and learner. In 2012, Sarah launched JustOne with Krista and travelled to Kenya, Uganda and South Africa together. Sarah has a blog we love to read called "Recipe for Messiness" that is about finding beauty amidst our messy lives.