Each month a team member at E29 picks a way to challenge the team to do something that will push them, help them grow, get outside their comfort zone, or just do a little extra. I picked June and I was SO inspired that on a personal level I am carrying it out through the rest of the year. I asked the team to find a way to “give back” once a week. In any way that helps others and that is close to their heart. I gave examples of different ways we could help with personal goals and/or as a team.
So, I’ll start with what I set out to do...
Week 1: Make dogs pull tugs and blankets for shelter animals. At any craft store during this time of year (in California) fleece fabric is on clearance so my daughter and I picked out fun patterns and got to work! It was so fun going to the shelter and delivering these handmade items, and I loved that my daughter was a part of it.
Week 2: I posted on Facebook that I was collecting canned goods and non-perishable food items for the Orange County Second Harvest Food Bank for the homeless. It prompted many of my neighbors to clear out their pantries and throw away the old, but donate their overstocked items. We donated bags and bags and bags of canned goods with the help of my amazing friends and family!
Week 3: Autismspeaks.org is a charity close to my heart as my nephew is on the spectrum and in the past, we have attended walks in his honor, and purchased goods to increase awareness and fund research. I couldn’t let this challenge go by without a monetary donation in Cannon’s honor.
Week 4: This was my biggest challenge and it’ll be one that continues all year, and hopefully years to come. Being a trail runner in California and seeing the devastation of the numerous forest fires that burned away my morning runs, scenic drives and neighbor’s homes and memories...this would be my finale. I set out to become a Tree Ambassador through onetreeplanted.org to assist in reforestation. This organization is awesome! They are located in Vermont but work with local arborists all over the nation to raise money and recruit ambassadors to help spread the word and actually get in and get dirty. You can log on and donate and $1=1 sapling. Every area requires a different type of tree for its environment and I am learning so much through meetings with their team, reading up and speaking with my local reforestation rep. This unfortunately is a poor time to replant in our areas, so until the Fall, I will be raising money that will go directly towards the trees that I will be replanting with a team in Laguna Canyon.
The organizations we as a team supported:
- American Red Cross for Volcano Relief in Hawaii
- Autism Speaks
- The Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence
- End the Backlog
- One Tree Planted
- San Francisco - Marin Food Bank
- Salt Lake County Animal Services
- Second Harvest Food Bank
- SpoofDawg Animal Rescue Shelter
- Youth Potential South Africa
“Especially in the #MeToo era, it is important that survivors get the justice they deserve. END THE BACKLOG is bringing awareness to the backlog of untested rape kits throughout the United States. I’m so happy to support this organization that is doing such incredible work. By ending the backlog and supporting survivors, we are supporting all women and gender equality.” -Megan
“YOUPSA helps pave the way to awaken the creativity, potential and purpose in South African youth. It is a non-profit education project for disadvantaged rural youth in the Eastern Cape Province.” -Suse
Through this process, our team raised money or donated their time to some amazing nationwide, and local organizations and I’m so happy that everyone became a part of this challenge. It made me think of different ways to give back everywhere I was…and just as important, my daughter did too.