Find­ing your Phi­lan­thropy

www.PANDORAHeart­sofTo­day.com

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Whether it’s the busy mother who spends her week­end vol­un­teer­ing at a lo­cal women’s shel­ter or the young girl rais­ing money for hun­gry chil­dren thou­sands of miles away with her lemon­ade stand — women that do good deeds are ev­ery­where. In fact, ac­cord­ing to the Bureau of La­bor Statis­tics, women con­tinue to vol­un­teer more of­ten than men across ev­ery age group and ed­u­ca­tional level. With so many de­vot­ing their time and en­ergy to giv­ing back, it’s easy to find and learn from the many fe­male men­tors hard at work in your own com­mu­nity.

Rec­og­niz­ing re­mark­able women

In a global ini­tia­tive to cel­e­brate the self­less work every­day women do within their com­mu­ni­ties and around the world to im­prove the liveli­hood of oth­ers, PAN­DORA Jew­elry has launched Hearts of To­day. The pro­gram al­lows the brand to support a va­ri­ety of char­i­ta­ble causes that are im­por­tant to women. PAN­DORA will honor eight women who are ac­tively do­ing work to im­pact change with a mon­e­tary do­na­tion to help the or­ga­ni­za­tion with which they are work­ing. “His­tor­i­cally, our char­i­ta­ble ef­forts have been fo­cused pri­mar­ily on breast can­cer aware­ness, but we know there are so many other is­sues that are equally as im­por­tant to women,” said An­drea Alvey, mem­ber of PAN­DORA A/S Board of Direc­tors. “Through this pro­gram, we are now able to fi­nan­cially support the causes that our con­sumers are pas­sion­ate about.” Those semi-fi­nal­ists will be cho­sen by a group of five re­mark­able women lead­ers whose in­di­vid­ual re­sumes boast an im­pres­sive list of phil­an­thropic work, from there, the pub­lic will vote and the top eight en­tries will re­ceive $25,000 for their char­ity..

Tips to get you giv­ing

While the enor­mous gen­eros­ity of an ac­com­plished phi­lan­thropist may seem inconceivable in your own life, there are count­less ways to give back. Here are a few ways to of­fer your time and tal­ents for the good of your com­mu­nity and beyond.

Start small

Tak­ing on a vol­un­teer­ing op­por­tu­nity can be daunt­ing — es­pe­cially with so many char­i­ta­ble groups to choose from. While other obli­ga­tions may keep you from giv­ing as much time as you’d like, re­mem­ber that ev­ery hour you can give is ap­pre­ci­ated by ev­ery­one in­volved.

Look lo­cally

A great place to start the search for vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties is in your own back yard. From the an­i­mal shel­ter down the street to the lo­cal food pantry, help­ing out in your area strength­ens com­mu­nity in­volve­ment and also helps you meet oth­ers and build con­tacts that could help you down the line. Check out the many on­line re­sources avail­able that fit po­ten­tial vol­un­teers with op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­ist in their ar­eas, such as vol­un­teermatch.org, vol­un­teer.gov and serve.gov, as well as many oth­ers.

Find mean­ing­ful jobs Be sure to take some time to think about your own per­sonal in­ter­ests and hob­bies be­fore search­ing for vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties. Do you have any so­cial is­sues that you feel pas­sion­ately about? While your day­time job may not al­low you to pur­sue such pas­sions, a vol­un­teer po­si­tion may be the ticket.

Make it a group ef­fort

Do you have friends and fam­ily mem­bers who share the same in­ter­ests and will­ing­ness to help oth­ers? If you do, gather them up for one of the many op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­ist for groups. This not only al­lows each mem­ber to ex­pe­ri­ence the gift of vol­un­teer work, it also builds ca­ma­raderie among the group.

Bal­ance your obli­ga­tions

While you may wish to jump into your new en­deavor right away, be sure to re­view your sched­ule care­fully be­fore over­com­mit­ting your­self. Many or­ga­ni­za­tions will al­low you to work a limited sched­ule and grad­u­ally build more hours over time un­til you are more com­fort­able or avail­able.

The Many Ways to Vol­un­teer

The op­por­tu­ni­ties to give are end­less. Here are some of the ways you can get in­volved through char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions that support women and chil­dren.

Spe­cial do­na­tions

Here are some ways you can help out with char­i­ta­ble do­na­tions:

Hair:

For chil­dren suf­fer­ing from long-term hair loss due to ill­ness, a do­na­tion of hair is turned into a pros­thetic, help­ing to re­store con­fi­dence and a sense of nor­malcy.

Wed­ding dress:

A do­na­tion of your spe­cial gown can help out a num­ber of or­ga­ni­za­tions. Some do­nated gowns are sold again with pro­ceeds help­ing those with can­cer and other ill­nesses. Oth­ers can be do­nated to help mil­i­tary brides have the wed­ding of their dreams.

Business at­tire:

Work ap­pro­pri­ate cloth­ing, footwear and ac­ces­sories can be do­nated to groups who work di­rectly with women look­ing to en­ter the work­force.

Vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties

There are many ways to put your time and tal­ents to use help­ing those in need. Here are a few or­ga­ni­za­tions you can con­trib­ute to:

Em­brac­ing ac­com­plish­ment:

Help pro­vide young, grade schoolaged girls with the op­por­tu­nity to learn life lessons and en­cour­age phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity by train­ing for a 5K race event.

Be­come a men­tor:

By vol­un­teer­ing to read, tu­tor or men­tor, you can help chil­dren of all ages be more fo­cused in school, which can help in the class­room and beyond.

Help­ing fam­i­lies:

Some non-profit groups work to help sin­gle moms get the re­sources, work­place skills and train­ing needed to pro­vide for their chil­dren.

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