It’s one thing to see the social injustices in the world and acknowledge them. While it’s important that we understand them, it is equally important to act to correct them whenever possible.
Some problems cannot be corrected by writing a check, and moving on with your life. Sometimes, it is necessary to roll up your sleeves, and find a role you can play in bringing about the social changes you feel passionate about. Doing social good is about acting to change these injustices you see in the world.
Social Good in Business
You’ve probably heard of some businesses that invest heavily in the concept of social good. For instance, Tom’s Shoes gives a pair of shoes to a person living in a socially disadvantaged area for every pair of shoes sold. The one-for-one philosophy has made them a fast favorite among consumers who like the idea of their purchasing choices making a difference for people around the world.
Companies are beginning to understand just how important this desire to do social good has become with consumers who are willing to invest heavily in companies that use the dollars given to offer something of value to others who have little around the world.
Initiatives currently exist to help with all manner of support around the world, including things like:
- Clean drinking water
- Literacy and education programs
- Books and educational materials
- Eye exams and eyeglasses
- Planting trees
- Sustainable housing for the homeless
- Providing healthcare services
- Scrub suits
- Bars of soap
- Blankets, scarves, and other cool weather gear donated to homeless shelters and organizations that fight poverty
- Oral care products
While not all social good projects operate on the one-for-one philosophy that Tom’s Shoes offers, many do. Those who do not, provide other essential goods and services to people in need around the block and around the world.
While we here in the U.S. are among the most fortunate in the world, there is still poverty in our own towns and communities to address as well. Many organizations that do social good acknowledge this, and have programs in place to address needs much closer to home.
What Can Ordinary Citizens Do?
While businesses and corporations are picking up some of the slack, for real change to take place, it requires boots on the ground in far greater numbers than a handful of companies can provide. That is where ordinary people use their time and talent to accomplish extraordinary good in their communities and neighborhoods.
There are all kinds of programs you can participate in, whether you live in a large city or a smaller community. You can do any of the following, for instance:
- Work in soup kitchens at any time of year
- Deliver meals to shut-in patients and the elderly
- Volunteer to be a mentor to underprivileged children in your community
- Teach literacy to adults
- Offer professional services to those who are socially or economically disadvantaged
- Help build houses with Habitat for Humanity
- Organize clothing drives to provide professional clothing to help women seeking jobs in the business field
The ultimate goal is to bridge the gap between those who are more fortunate, and those who have less. You may not be able to change the world in one day or one act of doing social good. You can make a difference in the life of one person. Change the future for one family. And, feel as though you’ve done what is within your power to do to affect change in the world around you.
Shopping for Good
The other thing you can do is identify organizations that do social good when people buy their products, and support them with your dollars by sharing your stories about the good works they do, and showing how proud you are to do your part through social media and other mediums.
Think of all the people who share plates of food that cost enough to feed families in poor communities for a week on social media without batting an eye. Now is your chance to share something that can actually change lives, and make the world a better place by shopping for things you use every day (shoes, toothbrushes, books, coffee, etc.) from organizations that give back.
Some organizations to consider include:
- Made for Freedom – A clothing and accessories platform dedicated to ending human trafficking.
- Purse & Clutch – An organization dedicated to eliminating the cycles of poverty prevalent in areas like Guatemala and Ethiopia through ethical artistry by local women who create purses, totes, wallets, and clutches.
- Three Avocados – A clean water initiative that sells coffee to fuel its drive to bring the hope and prosperity clean water represents to people around the world who do not have access to clean water and all the benefits it brings.
And of course, we here at PlushBeds believe we make the list:
- PlushBeds – A mattress company that offers healthy mattresses that are good for people and the planet. The organization features a supply line that is ethical and sustainable, offers green scholarships, and participates in a wide range of charitable initiatives, including charitable giving.
If you’re no longer content to sit on the sidelines, and watch others do good, you can do your part by making purchases from companies who do good (let your money do your talking, in hopes that more companies will join in), and participate in socially good projects in and around your home. The rewards go far beyond the good you are doing for others, and may leave you feeling better about the person in the mirror than you have in a long while.
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