Thursday, October 8, 2015

Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Oh! So Much More

This is my 4th blog post, wow. I have never been so dedicated to something before and I feel like I will continue to post on this blog after my class is over. I love what I am writing about and I feel like I am truly sharing something unique here. 

I wanted to write about something a bit more board this week. As some know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Vegetarian Awareness Month. The fact that spreading awareness, support and gathering donations for cancer has become so large it takes over a title for a month of the year is pretty spectacular. 

My college campus puts on a lot of events every October for this months in support. I think it is so cool to live on a campus that gives back to people in so many ways and brings awareness to its students in a multitude of ways as well. I know that in the Greek community, Sigma Lambda Gamma and Zeta Tau Alpha, both have Breast Cancer Education and Awareness as one of their philanthropic causes. It is amazing to see videos, posts, news stories, philanthropic events, social media shares and more about this cause. 

The best way to help a cause to spread word about a cause, to make buzz and noise about it, while also getting yourself and others involved with this cause. What to know when it comes to breast cancer and this month is an important aspect of getting involved. ABC News did a piece on this topic and states that "The World Cancer Research Fund International reports that there are more than 6 million breast cancer survivors worldwide, giving many survivors a reason to celebrate this month." Yet, you find many survivors write editorials or Facebook posts or blogs for that matter discussing how they think there is so much more people can do and that by just wearing pink or donating money you are not helping a cause. I disagree. Yes, there is so much more that you can do, but wearing the color the philanthropic endeavor sponsors or donating money are the best ways to start spreading awareness and getting involved in something bigger then ourselves. 

Giuliana Rancic from E! is actually one of the many celebrities promoting awareness and discussing myths about breast cancer (and before she was even diagnosed herself). I think that is a great way to cause a ripple in something, you can not make something change if you do not have the promotional ability to get the word out there. 

There is so much that we can do to support and get informed and I think it is time that you go out and find what you want to support. Even more get involved in a walk to fight cancer, post about something you saw or read, learn more, and GET INVOLVED! I can write to you my views and inform you all about what is going on in the world of philanthropy, but it is up to you to make a change. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Philanthropy in My Backyard

I was asked to write about a current event in the news and I did not know what to write about. There is always so much happening in our world today both good and bad and it is hard to pick what you want to share your opinion on. I have talked for two posts about the Syrian refugee crisis and its sad to say that, that was the fist thing to pop into my head when given this task. I do not want to bore you with only talking about that topic, because that is not what this blog is about. This blog is about sharing how philanthropies are changing the world, and I did know how to spin that into a current event post, despite all my research. Finally something clicked and I realized that I don't have to write about what someone is doing, but I can write about what we can do.

I want to talk to you guys about a current event here on my college campus and even though this is not breaking news or important to some, this is important to me. Central Michigan University is the home of the state headquarters to Special Olympics and for our Homecoming weekend this year we hosted a 5k to help raise money for Special Olympics and all that they do. The race was actually this morning and I got to witness it first hand as I walked to work, while also knowing a handful of the participants. CMLIFE writes that "the purpose of the Homecoming 5K is to raise awareness and funding for nearly 21,000 Special Olympics athletes in Michigan. The donations SOMI receives helps to cover the cost of sending athletes to competitions. The goal this year is to raise $13,000."

I just think that, that is amazing beyond all belief. To gather a community, a township and a campus together as one to raise money for this amazing philanthropic organization is beautiful. I think that we should do more things like this and try to make at home philanthropic endeavors a more prominent thing, especially in our news. We could talk for days about this shooting or this war, etc. but if we could get people to talk instead on how these people are changing the world or how this organization is making a difference imagine how much better our world would be. A girl can hope right. Share how you help the world, post it on social media, learn about other organizations and lets try to better what is being shared in our news and communities.

*if you didnt notice the hyperlink, here is the link to the CMLIFE article

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Understanding the Syrian refugee crisis: Why and How

When I wrote my last blog post about the Jen Lovallo's individual work with the Refugee Crisis in Syria, it sparked a strong interest in this subject and I soon learned that more people are using social media to share this issue, it inspired me to learn more.

According to BCC News, the Syrian issue started March 2011 with the brutal civil war that erupted in the Middle East. During the violence many of the Syrian people have been caught in the battle and through the violence have "been forces to leave their homes to escape to safety in other countries," states BCC News.

The refugee crisis has become more prominent in the news this year and has been a large thing in social media as well. I follow Patrick Witty on Twitter and Vine and he is making big strides in educating people about this cause, keeping us informed, and reporting what is truly going on.

Now this is not  philanthropic endeavor that I am covering but the issue is worth learning about and so many people are using social media to raise awareness on this issue and for charities helping them. According to the Charity Navigator , the Syrian crisis has entered its fifth year and 19 plus charities have been helping aid the crisis. I feel when people use social media to promote awareness and to gain donations for world issues like this, it shows the true potential of the good that social media can do for the world. There is so much about this crisis that we need to know about and talk about. Read the links, discuss and comment below, without talking about it and learning about it, how can we help change it.

Snapshot of the Crisis

12.2 million  People in Need of Humanitarian Assistance in Syria  
5.6 million  Children Affected by the Crisis in Syria
7.6 million  Internally Displaced Persons in Syria
4 million  Syrians Displaced to Neighboring Countries

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Things They Left Behind - Highlight on Jen Lovallo and Her Work in Budapest

This is a screenshot from my mobile device of a philanthropic endeavor that I would like to highlight. Jen Lovallo (my brother-in-law's sister) recently did some dangerous volunteer work these past few weeks. She went to Budapest and was helping Syrian refugees, who were walking to Vienna, by providing them food, water, medical aid, and a chance to rest. The volunteers raised about 4,060 dollars in donations through a website and by utilizing all that Twitter has to offer. Since this blog is about discussing how philanthropies use social media to spread awareness of their cause, I felt this accomplishment was most fitting, Jen posted things she saw, what she was doing, where she was each day and my brother-in-law did the same thing, while also re-tweeting Jen, so that their combined followers learned about this issue and sent donations. According to James Lovallo, they would not have made nearly as much money in donations to support Jen and get supplies to the refugees if it was not for Twitter. I chose this picture because I felt as though it was one of the more moving posts, since it utilized text and photographs of the refugees and what Jen was witnessing. If it moved me, imagine how many others were moved by this post and found a way to help the cause. Additional groups were formed to help after she left to come home. Even the smallest philanthropies can use social media to highlight awareness on their issue. It is a great way to build a community of support for charitable work.