We know it has been an unprecedented year, and many of us are doing our part to make it more bearable. However, so many want to do more, but we are unsure how to #MakeYourContributionCount. How can we uplift the life of another? With the explosion of social, mental health, social disparity, loneliness, inequitable issues, increased violence, the suffering of small businesses, to name a few — WE may feel hopeless. But your small actions can create a big reaction. We all have a role to play.
Here are YouMeWe’s top ten (there are so many ways to have an impact, but we reduced to 10) to #MakeYourContributionCount this holiday season. Pick one to three and spread the #YouMeWeMovement, and you will spread love, consciousness, care, kindness, and inclusion while embracing your role and responsibility to uplift society.
I’m going to start with a bonus on how to make your contribution count. Since the pandemic was announced, this opportunity has seemed to have limited coverage.
The gift that keeps on preserving. Although we have been in a pandemic, the climate crisis hasn’t miraculously disappeared. Do your part by giving reusable gifts (not reused gifts :)) and showing you care about your friends’ and family’s health with a metal water bottle (Medical professionals suggest women drink 2.7 liters a day and men 3.7 liters). I have traveled the world with my reusable bottle because it keeps cold drinks cold and warm drinks warm. Now at home…it does the same. There is no excuse for using paper or plastic cups anymore.
GiveBlood– Although the pandemic has consumed our minds, other health issues haven’t’ went on holiday. So do your part, donate blood!
There are safe periodicals in place. All blood types are needed; however, O positive blood type is given to patients more than any other blood type, which is why it’s considered the most needed blood type. 38% of the population has O positive blood, making it the most common blood type.
While giving, also thank the healthcare workers. Let them know you appreciate them! Book at https://www.blood.ca/en to find a location near you!
Support the elderly
Clean an elderly neighbour’s car and pathways after a snowfall.
Buy an elderly neighbour or differently-abled person groceries (You don’t need to pay for them, just help them out). Ask them: “I’m going to the grocery store; can I pick you up groceries?” People often won’t ask for help, but it is less of an imposition if you are going.
Write to your MP in support of a National Action Plan On Violence Against Women – to build fair, equitable, and universal protections for women across the country. Throughout the pandemic in Canada, violence against women has increased drastically. Before March 2020, every 2.5 days, a woman was killed due to domestic violence. An Assaulted Women’s Helpline in Ontario has doubled the usual number – from 4,000 to 8,000 calls a month.
Another way to support anti-violence is to buy a YouMeWe cap. With the purchase of this vibrant purple cap, $5 goes towards women and children’s anti-violence initiatives. https://store.youmewe.ca/
Send a handwritten note to people you appreciate and let them know why #YourContribuitionCounts. (Send a message to ten people who have impacted you in 2020 – I promise, you will make their day!)
You can even make your Contribution Count TWICE. If you buy YourContributionCounts cards (https://store.youmewe.ca/ ) and post their contribution at https://youmewe.ca/youmewe-movement/ – For every posting, we will invest in a woman lead small-business or her education in a developing country on your behalf – moving her from poverty to prosperity.
When you show appreciation, use the C.A.R.R.E ™ — YouMeWe method:
- Communicate it,
- Be Authentic,
- Make it Relevant and Respectful,
- Be Explicit about the behavior you are acknowledging
Amplify voices and businesses – Share Black and indigenous people’s businesses on social media. It’s time to put these businesses into the spotlight. Let’s help our fellow citizens by amplifying their businesses.
Buy gifts from a conscious business – Social enterprises ethically source and produce products while contributing to a social gap. So your gift is having a positive ripple effect. Here are some suggested website to source products:
- YouMeWe Social Impact Group – 5% of products go to invest in women leaders. https://store.youmewe.ca/
- SheEO – Canadian company activating women social entrepreneurs https://sheeo.world/buy-women-owned/
- Support B-Corps internationally visit, or all your gift needs: https://bcorporation.net/b-the-change
- The Good trade https://www.thegoodtrade.com/
Support local retailers and restaurants. Small businesses are critical to our communities, and without them, there is no jingle in our bell. Order your Christmas day, Christmas Eve, or New Year’s Eve meal this year! After all, you can only have five people in your home this season (depending on your Provincial or State guidelines).
Mental health – As Covid 19 increases the demand for mental health services, we all can do our part. This one is so important that I will give 5-holiday suggestions.
- Physical distance connect with someone living on their own. Make a plan to get together, so they have something to look forward to.
- Drive an elderly neighbour to doctor appointments; great opportunity to catch up and help them out (wear a mask).
- Drop off your favourite cookie recipe dough to someone on their own. Who doesn’t like a surprise? It lets them know you are thinking of them. And their home will smell great during the holidays.
- Reach out to a retirement home and see if anyone wants someone to talk to via zoom.
Donate to Food Banks – demand has increased exponentially – During the pandemic, there has been an increase in first-time users of food banks. And 20% of foodbank see a continued surge of people accessing their services on an ongoing basis – a rise from 5 to 54 %visiting food banks.
In my interview with Shelbey Taylor, the Founder of Chickapea on WisdomExchangTv.com (https://wisdomexchangetv.com/shelby-taylor-chickapea/) – She reminds us that ALL people need healthy and gluten-free options, which are often ignored when people donate to food banks.
Visit your local food bank or donate https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/ (Dollars, go further as food bank has an economy of scale).
Follow the pandemic health protocols – Wash your hands, stand 2 meters apart, and wear a mask. Stay safe. Stay informed. The vaccine may have arrived, but it will take months before we are safe. Do your part and don’t focus on “me, but ‘we”.
Make your contribution count. It only takes one. One person. One small action. One conscious-contribution™.
The choice is yours.
Now imagine if we all made the same choice.
YouMeWe wishes you health, joy, and prosperity in 2021.
Michael Gingerich & Suzanne F. Stevens
Founders of YouMeWe Social Impact Group Inc.