This is a sponsored post written in partnership AT&T
These days it’s hard to be without our smartphones. They’re our lifelines to friends, family, and our community but they also connect us to others around the world. As global citizens, we have the power to use technology to see photos on Instagram taken in places we dream of visiting, receive push notifications about current events happening halfway around the globe, watch live streamed video by Periscope broadcasters in different countries, follow hashtags on Twitter, and read personal accounts on blogs written from those around the world. Technology allows us to connect to places in ways we never could before. As we become knowledgeable about the world around us by consuming content that broadens our understanding of humanity, we also need to take action by using our own smartphones for good.
It’s not hard to create social change using our smartphones. In fact, it’s probably the easiest way time strapped parents can do good deeds that impact others in positive ways in minutes. Apps developed by nonprofits, campaigns on social media channels using designated hashtags, and through purposeful purchasing of products that give back through sustainable job creation through online store fronts serve as ways to create meaningful change. It’s not hard to create change but it can be hard to know where to go to get started but that’s where I can help!
1. Donate Through Your Actions
Actions speak louder than words especially when you can give in a way that is tied to something that you love. Since I love to write, I’ve been honored to participate in Shot@Life’s Blogust campaign for the past couple years. The yearly campaign that stretches throughout the month of August is a way that I can donate a piece of writing that my readers can like, share, tweet, and comment on to donate a vaccine. 1 tweet, Facebook like, and comment each equal a donation of a vaccine to prevent childhood diseases through this United Nations Foundation campaign. I love that even though we’re all busy, simple social actions taken as a result of my post can help others.
Because we’re all busy but doing good things for others doesn’t need to take any more of your time. Chronic multitaskers short on time will love engaging in something you enjoy doing while raising some money to benefit others at the same time. It’s the model of efficiency and if you’re looking for simple ways to give back through things you already do, following are a few ideas:
Love to run? The CharityMiles app is a way to track your miles and raise money at the same time. If you’re already running, then why not choose a favorite charity from among this list and make your miles truly count!
Like taking photos and sharing them on Instagram? Johnson & Johnson’s Donate a Photo app is a free way you can earn help raise money for important causes. What’s the catch? There isn’t one. It’s that simple. Just download the app, use it to share a photo, and Johnson & Johnson will donate a dollar to a nonprofit for every photo donated. You can share one photo per day to support a cause. Easy, right?
Obsessed with gaming? Save the Children’s #GamingTuesday will be held worldwide on Dec. 1 from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 pm. Hosted at SavetheChildren.org/GamingTuesday, it’s easy for kids and adults alike to get involved in just 3 steps. Simply choose to:
- Play: Create a personal fundraising page and pledge to play your favorite games
- Stream: Raise money by streaming for as little as an hour or even a 24-hour marathon
- Vlog or Periscope: Create and upload a video to promote giving on #GamingTuesday and post it to your fundraising page
- Share: Spread the word about #GamingTuesday and host or re-stream a livestream broadcast on your channel. Periscope users can resend a link to their live broadcast later on via Twitter!
Dog owner taking your pup for a walk? ResQwalk is a free mobile app that allows you to raise awareness and resources for over 2,000 different animal welfare organizations by simply using the app when going for a walk, run, or any distance related activity. The miles walked will translate into money or products raised for a variety of organizations through a ResQpool.
2. Purchase with a Purpose and Give Gifts that Give Back
Another easy way to make a big difference is to use your smartphone to purchase with a purpose. Gifts that give back are ones that are help promote sustainable jobs where those in individuals in other countries are paid fair wages for their work. Money earned from these programs help lift people up out of poverty and provide income that enables them to send their kids to school.
How do I know that purchasing with a purpose makes a difference? I’ve been lucky to see it through my own eyes through repeated trips to Haiti. Visiting Haiti every year for the past four years has allowed me to get to know artisans who create products for Macy’s Heart of Haiti and other retailers. I know that when they receive a big order from Macy’s and other companies in the United States, the work employs the artist, their family, and often the community as they work to fulfill orders. I love the Macy’s Heart of Haiti and Rwanda Path to Peace baskets because these trade not aid programs pay individuals 50% of the retail price for the items sold online and in stores. It doesn’t matter if the item is marked down in store or on sale via the website. The artist always makes 50% of the retail price.
If you’re interested in learning more about the companies who create trade not aid products that support individuals around the world, please visit my Gifts that Give Back Gift Guide. Please note that a new version will be published the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (aka Giving Tuesday).
3. Use Your Voice
Short on time money. You don’t always need to donate money to make a difference. Change can also be made by using your voice to advocate for others around the world as you lend yours to a larger cause.
ONE– You have to love an organization that only requires a tiny bit of time to lend your voice. That’s ONE in a nutshell. This international campaigning and advocacy organization is dedicated to spreading awareness the United Nations’ Global Goals, ONE focuses on the fight against extreme poverty and makes it easy to get involved. From time to time I’ll get a push notification on my phone from ONE urging me to click to tweet a simple message that goes out to world leaders encouraging them to take action by funding initiatives that will help eliminate poverty. My voice has joined others in persuading governments to support programs and policies that make a difference in fighting extreme poverty and disease. Through my smartphone I’ve educated my followers about the #GlobalGoals through Instagram and brought awareness about the fact fact that women and girls in poor countries are denied education through their #PovertyisSexist campaign. ONE helps us realize that even though we may just be one voice, our voices are stronger together as we mobilize to action through our phones by calling and tweeting our country’s leaders about important issues in the US and around the world.
STAND— STAND is an app that allows anyone to make a difference by donating money or raising awareness about a cause of your choice immediately through your phone. Inspired by Vivienne Harr, now 11 years old, STAND empowers all of us to join forces to stand for causes we care about. This app has an interface that’s easy to use understand and a simple message: we don’t have to be big and powerful to change the world. We just need to STAND. Save the Children is currently the featured organization on STAND.
Since our smartphones allow use to connect to each other, it’s only fitting that we use them to connect to causes we care about to help change the world through simple actions that we can do every single day.
For more information about AT&T and their #Useit4Good campaign:
This is a sponsored post written in partnership with AT&T but all opinions are my own.