I don’t know about you, but my newsfeed is giving me a headache. I’m feeling sad, depressed and most of all disappointed in the rhetoric, the foot-stomping and the unnecessary fear within our borders and beyond. Of course there’s a small part of me that wants to hide and cocoon inside my first world bubble but instead I’m going to trust the bigger part of me that doesn’t feel helpless and wants to make a difference.
And BTW, sharing the love is good for you. It can lower cholesterol and blood pressure and it helps boost dopamine (naturally). It doesn’t matter how or how much or who you decide to give to, any act of kindness will help lower the volume of the headlines and hateful buzz that’s bringing us down. To help you get started, here are 4 easy ways to give and get past the noise:
Feed the Children Here at Home
We all moan and groan about packing our kids Pinterest-perfect lunches or trying to find a palm oil-free, gluten-free, nitrite-free or sugar-free nibbles our littles will enjoy, however many moms don’t have the luxury to complain like we do. One million Canadian children face hunger every year. It’s easy to help thanks to programs like Breakfast for Learning which offers school based nutrition programs at over 1600 schools across the country (they’ve dished out more than 638 million meals and snacks) and Canadian Feed the Children which provides for First Nations children. They report one in four Aboriginal children is living in poverty and are disproportionately subject to food insecurity and nutrition-related illnesses compared to non-Aboriginal Canadians. Here’s a snippet from an infograph from Breakfast for Learning. See the complete illustration here.
Stop Sending Flowers
A friend with breast cancer certainly needs TLC for her spirit, but instead of sending her another well-meaning stuffie or bloomin’ bouquet, Rethink Breast Cancer got real with presents that will help her get through the lows of her diagnosis. Their new Give-A-Care product line has honest pick-me-ups like When-Life-Gives-You-Lemons-And-Those-Lemons-Taste-Like-Chemo-You-Need-CANDIES and Chemo-sucks-but-at-least-no-one’s-judging-me-for-living-in-my-HOODIE. Companies including H&M, Aveda and Go Organic donated all the goods so Rethink’s mission to educate, empower and advocate for those concerned about and affected by breast cancer can benefit from 100 per cent of the profits.
Enjoy Syrian Take-Out
If you live in the Toronto’s west end area, check out the Newcomer Kitchen at The Depanneur, a local culinary workshop. It’s a project that invites groups of Syrian refugee women to use its kitchen and cook traditional Syrian meals that are sold online for pickup or delivery. The $20 tab covers the cost of ingredients and provides an honorarium for the cooks (over $20000 has been divvied up since it’s launch this past spring). Owner Len Senater reports the program just received it’s non-profit status that will help The Depanneur benefit more women in different neighbourhoods. On tomorrow’s menu: Dawood Basha (meatballs seasoned with onion, black pepper and allspice in a rich tomato sauce), Yakaneh Batata bel Batinjan (a home stew with potatoes and eggplant in a tomato and onion gravy with a hint of curry powder), Tabbouleh and M’a’krona or deep-fried dough fritters scented with anise and vanilla then soaked in a lemon-sugar syrup. Hungry yet?
Make a Donation to Relief Efforts in Haiti
I’m not mincing words here. A Time article says the UN appealed for 120 million dollars to provide relief in the wake of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, however only 12% has been committed. I know there’s a lot of strife that’s pulling at your heart strings but these stats are hard to ignore. 1.4 million people, of which 40 per cent are children, seek basic water, shelter and medical attention in an already fragile country. Whether it’s UNICEF, Oxfam, Care, World Vision or another organization of your choice, let your credit card help you do a good deed. It’ll just take a couple of minutes. I promise.