Tis the season to donate, but is it really that simple? Where do you begin? How do you find a cause that is meaningful to you, and how do you pick when there are so many causes in this world that need our support? It’s not an easy choice, but there are tools to help you decide so that you can stop pondering the act of giving and start actually helping. In addition to big-name charities like the Red Cross, there are websites such as Causes and DoSomething.org that are making smaller and more specialized causes and donations easily available to everyone. Beyond that, we can thank celebrities for raising awareness for many charitable causes.
Say what you will about celebrities using their fame for the wrong reasons (cough cough, Kim Kardashian), but when a powerful celebrity aligns with a cause it can go from obscure to recognized around the world in an instant. Julie Ruth, a professor of marketing at the Rutgers School of Business–Camden, says, “Celebrities bring attention to charities just as they would a product, creating image-related links on the basis of qualities such as attractiveness and likability, expertise, and trustworthiness.” Whether you learn about a cause from Angelina Jolie or based on current events or a personal struggle, the important thing is that you give back. So as you sift through the many opportunities to give back the season, celebrity-endorsed or not, think about what cause is close to your heart and remember that the world is a better place because of your efforts.
- Ebola Relief
Ebola relief is the cause everyone around the world is concerned about, and for good reason. It’s scary, but it’s not hopeless. You can help if you donate. Retail Orphan Initiative, which helps vulnerable children worldwide, has turned its attention to Ebola relief with their #RetailFightsEbola campaign, by working to deliver critical supplies in Liberia and the U.S. In addition, they are adding more orphan homes in West Africa to care for the children who have been orphaned due to the Ebola outbreak.