Does the last quarter of the year fly by for everyone or is it just me? It's like I'm enjoying summer and next thing I know it's my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Talk about the most wonderful time of the year!
There are so many special things about the end of the year - the music, food, time with your family - but for me this time of year is also an important wake up call.
Growing up, my mom stressed the importance of not only being grateful for what we have, but being generous to everyone around us. It's one of the reasons I'm holiday-crazy! I love thinking about what someone likes and picking out the the perfect gift that has their name written all over it.
One of my favorite family holiday traditions is our annual 100% tip night. Me, my mom and my sister pick out a restaurant and we go out to eat right before Christmas. No matter how good or bad our service is, we tip our server 100%.
Yes, you read that right. Little did we know, over the years our mom was secretly teaching us one of life's most important lessons.
It doesn't matter what the circumstances are. Be good to people for no reason, with no motive. Be good to people just because it's the right thing to do.
If you're looking for some incredible ways to be good to people this #GivingTuesday, here are a few of my favorite causes to support:
1. Big Brothers Big Sisters
I was pretty involved throughout college, but my favorite organization to work with was Big Brothers Big Sisters. For four years, I mentored an elementary school boy who had lost his mother in a car accident. I went into the program thinking I would change his life, but I never expected how much he would change mine. Consider donating to BBBS or signing up to be a mentor!
2. High Point University
If you've known me for a while, you've heard me talk about how proud I am to be an HPU alum. HPU supported me during some of the hardest days of my life. Not to mention, they were the first ones who encouraged me to get up on stage and share my story. Without HPU, I wouldn't be the person or speaker I am today. You can donate to High Point University student scholarships here.
3. Watkins Mill High School
I met some of the most important people in my life at my old high school. WMHS made me who I am and that's why it's so important to me to give back to this community. I'm proud to lead the WM Alumni Network as we plan our new mentorship program and alumni scholarships! Let me know if you're interested in volunteering or you can donate to WMHS and our alumni network.
Fun fact: I was a campus representative for Headbands of Hope in college and now their CEO, Jess Ekstrom, is one of my mentors.
This is the perfect holiday bundle! Grab #chasingthebrightside by @jess_ekstrom. Then use the code THANKS50 for 50% off at headbandsofhope.com. For each headband sold, one is given to a child with cancer and Chasing the Bright Side is the story of how it got started.