Confession: this morning I made another confession to a small group of friends about my dread of #GivingTuesday.
As you know, I’m involved in many non-profits through both donations and volunteers, I sit on the board of a FANTASTIC one now, and I’m the president of my university alumni chapter. You can only imagine the amount of email that’s been flooding my box about this day. More than Black Friday and #CyberMonday combined. I swear. And of course more guilt-inducing too.
It got stressful. I was at my breaking point. This stuff is so important to me…but here was this tsunami (Oh God! Tsunami relief! How are those poor people doing? I should donate there too!)
One friend pointed out that this is for the “normals” and another that there actually are people not involved with charities at all. Eight years of Jesuit education and being raised in a socially conscience household – this concept is so totally foreign to me.
My friends encouraged me to “unplug” and not feel bad about skipping the day, except for my social media duties as Walk San Francisco’s fundraising chair.
Then I put together that maybe my dream about getting shot in the leg last night (during a police ride along…don’t ask) maybe had to do with the fact that people can’t even vocalize their disgust with drivers in the crosswalk in this city without getting FUCKING SHOT, even old people aren’t immune. Y’know, as if we don’t have enough problems, with 28 people killed on city streets already this year.
So I made the above “Take Back Your Crosswalk” photo to fit into my #DailyHaight Instagram theme. How many cars blocking the crosswalk can you count? I put up posts on Facebook and Twitter to be part of the conversation. Maybe the “normals” would see. I also worked with one of my committee members to put the finishing touches on a FREAKING amazing fundraising tool we have for next Tuesday’s annual member party, Woonerven.
I realized I didn’t have to do everything else. Sending an “ask” email would be uncomfortable for me today and feel phony lost in the fog. I do asks when I do updates. They stand out more.
Okay, I spread the word. Got to give #GivingTuesday my own little twist and help an organization I love. Started to warm up to participating in the day within my own parameters. BUT, what about all those other organizations? Ones I’ve neglected a bit as I stepped up commitment levels?
I pondered a bit and picked 14 (for 2014) to give $14 to each. Fourteen organizations that have either shaped who I am, or that I’ve heard about and really appreciate how they are shaping others.
So here’s where I gave:
Walk San Francisco. Duh. For all the reasons above and for every single person in this city that has to dodge death just trying to get from point A to B because of poorly engineered streets, lack of street user education and piss poor enforcement.
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. A partner with Walk SF on #VisionZero and the first organization I joined when I moved here. Grateful for them this morning as I transitioned to a protected bike lane on Market, which kept out the driver who clearly had no clue WTF she was doing in the rain.
18 Reasons. For their Cooking Matters program, specifically, but for all that they’ve given me in terms of farm school and a community of social justice-minded foodies.
Marquette University. Because I posted several moments yesterday involving people that I met there. And I wouldn’t be who I am today had I chosen another school.
Jesuit High School. Again, I wouldn’t be who I am (or have gone to Marquette), had I not gone to Jesuit. I may not be living in SF (thanks, Mary Ann!), I wouldn’t likely be participating in #GivingTuesday or charitable giving/volunteering as much. Who knows! Meta!
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. The downside about attending Catholic university is the lack of women’s healthcare in health services. Luckily good ol’ PP was there for me and my classmates when we needed to, y’know, not get pregnant, so we didn’t have to use their other services to not be pregnant (though hoorah for having that available too).
About-Face Media. I just haven’t found the time to become involved with this small organization, but I love love love what they do to help women and girls resist bullshit media messages. I can’t think of another organization doing this and I just think it’s fantastic. Go go go!
Taking It to the Streets. A new hyper-local group, addressing the very real problem of homeless kids hanging out on Haight Street, by putting them to work in exchange for housing. After overhearing a couple of devastating conversations about heroin this year (a kid on muni trying to get clean but unable to find rehab, two teens frankly discussing how to shoot up), learning of an old friend who passed away due to drug use and celebrating friends who are now several years clean – I’m all for organizations trying to help at-risk young people get a second chance.
CALICO. Another wonderful local organization, helping kids who are victims of sexual abuse. I got involved with CALICO through my high school (see above) friend Marley and run the Oakland Half Marathon for them each year.
CCFA of Northern California. Speaking of running for a cause, I did two seasons with CCFA’s Team Challenge when I moved to San Francisco. It started because I wanted to connect with Milwaukee running friends at the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon, but I ended up making my first batch of independent friends in San Francisco through this group and learning about the devastating effects of a disease no one wants to talk about.
KEXP. My secret source for getting through my run training. Their Music That Matters podcasts have fueled countless miles. And this year they even started a running music podcast. Amazing!
WMSE. I wouldn’t even be interested in the music on KEXP if not for WMSE, my gateway drug into the world of independent music. I continue to support them even after leaving Milwaukee and today tuned in for the first time in awhile, pleased to hear the wonderful stuff they’re still spinning.
UPAF. Another Milwaukee organization, that helped make me the arts-appreciator I am today and kept me fit even when I wasn’t, through the annual ride for the arts. Happy to give them $14.
StoryCorps. Finally, if running is a cathartic experience, so is crying, and StoryCorps pretty much does that to me each week. I love their mission of giving voices to all Americans and I’ve learned so much through their initiatives about little talked about things. I think world peace could be achieved if everyone took 5 minutes to listen to StoryCorps each week.
How did you participate in #GivingTuesday?