How old you feel is kind of arbitrary, and time is mostly just a concept. But I think in the past year, I’ve begun to feel more like an adult.
Not an “adult” adult—whatever that means—but like a human being who is more capable of creating the life she wants for herself.
I think being out of school really makes a difference. I’m not just a starving university student with a meagre part-time income; I’m a person in her early mid-twenties who has worked full time in her chosen career for an entire year. My income isn’t very impressive, but I live with my parents and really only pay for food and utilities—the rest goes to my savings account or basic everyday things like dinners with friends, clothing, and my monthly bus pass. I finally feel I’m at a point in life where I not only should give more to causes I believe in, but I comfortably can.
So this year, I tried to do more than just the requisite poppy donation for Remembrance Day and my colleague’s kid’s Girl Scouts cookie drive.
I focused most of my giving in two areas:
Organizations that seek to improve the quality of living for disadvantaged British Columbians
My office focuses their annual giving on United Way Lower Mainland, so I upped my personal donation this year—here is their report card from Charity Intelligence—and organized a charity hot pot event to fundraise a bit more. (The hot pot was fun and delicious, by the way.)
On the conservation front, I committed to a $5 monthly donation to SeaLegacy by becoming a Tide Member. $5 a month isn’t much, but it’s something I feel I’ll never have to renege on. I can always spare $5, right?
I’ve followed SeaLegacy founders Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier on Instagram for several years, and have signed SeaLegacy petitions that have ranged from ending Atlantic salmon farming in BC to stopping oceanic oil and gas exploration in Norway. I’m really happy I’m finally giving more to the important conservation work they do, more than just hitting “like” on a photo or signing a petition (though both of those things are important too).
In the same conservation vein, I also donated to Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s campaign to Safeguard Coastal Carnivores. Raincoast is working with Coastal First Nations to permanently end commercial trophy hunting of all large carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest. You can read more about their important work in the link above.
Also, because I love reading and am happy to support an organization John Green & Rosianna Halse Rojas support, I subscribed to the Life’s Library Book Club, a subscription book club whose proceeds go to Partners in Health. I’m not really sure this counts as “giving” because I’m getting a lot out of it, but I’m glad that my money is going somewhere good.
And that rounded out my seasonal giving. There are so many ways to give, and I’ve started off small, but I’m glad I’ve started making more of an effort to help out causes that are close to my heart. I know seasonal giving is cheesy and that you shouldn’t restrict your giving to one time of year, but it’s a start!
If you’re in a position to give and are looking for places to give to, I hope I’ve given you a bit of inspiration.