Sunday, November 22, 2015

Countdown to Causes and Effect

(Note: I wrote about this same subject back in January, but as December inches closer I wanted to write about it again. Maybe that's weird, but it's my blog, so I guess I can do whatever I want, right?)

On January 1, 2013, Melinda Newman, former West Coast Bureau Chief/Deputy Editor for Billboard Magazine and now a freelance writer, started a blog. The name of that blog was "Causes and Effect: My Year of Giving Daily," and the first sentence of Melinda's first post summed up the blog's purpose quite nicely:

"Join me on this journey as I commit to donating at least $10 every day of 2013."

The idea for the blog came to Melinda "in a flash of inspiration, or maybe desperation," after a friend asked her if she was working on a book. The idea stuck with Melinda for months, and she felt a responsibility to follow through, calling the blog "an experiment to see what happens to my heart and my spirit and my soul" over the year.

In 2014, Brian Mansfield took over the blog. Brian is a former USA Today music writer and currently works as the Content Director at Shore Fire Media. Like Melinda, Brian did an incredible job over his 365 days of giving and writing. But it was a monumental task.

So for 2015, Melinda decided to divide the Causes and Effect duties among 12 different writers, each of whom would be responsible for a different month. Thankfully, I was chosen to be one of those 12 writers.

December is my assigned month.

Over the last several weeks, I've been thinking about different charities and causes that mean a lot to me. I also asked my friends for suggestions. At first I thought coming up with 31 organizations to donate to would be difficult; now--surprise!--I have a list that exceeds 31. (Thank God there aren't any rules that say I can only give to one cause each day.)

Nine days from now, I will take over the reins of Causes and Effect. For my donations I plan to follow Melinda's original guidelines. As she wrote in her first post: "Some of the giving will be to recognized international charities, but others will be to Kickstarter campaigns that catch my eye, friends’ 5Ks, and maybe even to homeless people on the street. The only criteria is to give the money to some outlet that needs it that day more than I do."

I have to admit, I'm a little nervous about this gig, primarily because I've never written blog posts for 31 consecutive days. Hopefully I'll be able to live up to the high standards established by Melinda and Brian; and by the 11 bloggers who have preceded me in 2015.

I'm thinking I'll probably be posting links to my daily Causes and Effect posts on this blog, too. I figure the more exposure I can give the causes I donate to, the better. But just to be sure you don't miss anything, I urge you to follow the Causes and Effect blog. Here's the direct link:

You can also sign up to get the blog's daily posts emailed to you. If you go to the blog, you'll see a button at the top of the page that says, "Followmyyearofgivingdaily." If you click that, you can sign up.

This 31-day journey will definitely make doing my federal taxes a little more difficult this time around, but it will be totally worth it. I hope you'll join me.


"I don’t expect my $10 to change the world, but my hope is it will somehow change me." --Melinda Newman

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