by Suzanne F. Stevens, Conscious-Contribution™ Cultivator, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), originally posted on YouMeWe.ca
Happy Valentine’s Day! What an extraordinary day! A cultural and commercial celebration where socially we are put under pressure to demonstrate our love for that special someone. How about we make this Valentine’s different? Instead of focusing on one person, let’s spread the love, by making our contributions count.
Now before I share how to spread the love, we need to give some homage to Saint Valentine himself, a priest who served during the third century Rome. King Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those who had the responsibility of a wife and children, so he forbid young men to marry.
Valentine realized the injustice and believed it is a human right to love. Having the power to right this wrong, he chooses to secretly marry young men and women. His conscious-contribution to connect lovers, and to offer ministry to Christians who were being persecuted under the Roman Empire, led to his imprisonment. While in isolation a young lady, who happened to be the jailor’s daughter, showed him a kindness by visiting him every day before his fate to be beheaded would come to pass.
Some say he healed the daughter of the jailer; some say he fell in love with her, either way, the story ends the same. Before Valentine is executed, he wrought a letter of farewell to the kind woman who visited him, and signed it “Your Valentine.” Although the stories of Saint Valentine differ, they all portray him as a compassionate, heroic, and romantic figure.
Saint Valentine cared for others, and when he felt something was unjust, rather than be a bystander, he took action.
With that inspiration, I’m so excited to share with you how you too can spread the love this Valentine’s day and beyond, by making your contribution count.
Today YouMeWe is launching the #MyContributionCounts campaign.
How does your contribution count?
For every 25 conscious-contributions logged – YouMeWe will invest $25 in an individual seeking a micro-loan for business or education through the Kiva program (www.kiva.org – Micro-loans that change lives).
For every 25 conscious-contributions logged – YouMeWe will invest $25 in an individual seeking a micro-loan for business or education through the Kiva program #MyContributionCounts
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All you need to do to make your contribution count is list your conscious-contribution on YouMeWe #MyContributionCounts Campaign page. Include, what you did, for whom and which country you live in, i.e. Canada/US/Uganda/Thailand. Add where you would like us to invest on your behalf, i.e. Kenya. Then add two tags: #MyContributionCounts #YouMeWeMovement. Lastly, check the Facebook share button.
For every 25 posts, YouMeWe will invest in an individual from the most requested country.
I donated my gently used suits to Dress for Success in Barrie, Ontario, to help women re-enter the workforce. From Canada – invest in Kenya. #MyContributionCounts #YouMeWeMovment.
I mentored a boy today through the Big Brother, Big Sister Program. Great conversation about how bullying is never the solution. From Calgary – invest in Peru. #MyContributionCounts #YouMeWeMovment.
Got it? You can spread the love, and YouMeWe will invest in someone’s future because of you. You can log a different contribution, once a month, once a week, once a day. Just log it in at youmewe.ca/my-contribution-counts-2/
What to contribute?
Firstly, what is a contribution? A contribution is simple – it could be donating, educating, helping, being kind, volunteering.
What is a conscious-contribution to the community? [These are what we will count] – It is taking an extra step, two, or three, to consider the impact of your contribution to the beneficiary and community as a whole.
Ask yourself, what impact could or will my contribution have? Will it promote dependency or opportunity? Is it helping or hurting?
Questions to ask yourself to assess whether your contribution is a conscious-contribution:
- Donating clothes? Where are they donated? Will it sabotage an industry?
- Drinking with a straw? Will it be recycled or end up in a landfill? Really?
- Donating money to a worthy cause? How will they become sustainable?
- Volunteering at a lion sanctuary in South Africa? Canned hunting is rampant; lions are bred to be hunted by tourists.
- Building a school internationally? Who’s job am I taking?
- Providing Christmas dinner to a family in need? Who delivers it? Am I the hero, or the parent? What impact will that have?
- Buying a product from a social enterprise or company? Who are the beneficiaries? Do I support who or what they contribute to?
- Giving money to a child in a developing country? How could I better use my funds for sustainability? [Hint: donate to organizations who have transparent structures in place to contribute to many. I.e. provide dollars or books to a school.]
- Donating to a refugee crisis? What do they need? [Hint, your donation of used clothes can bog down the system.]
- Leaving the tap running while shaving? Watering your grass…again? Freshwater will never be an issue, said Cape Town, South Africa.
- Want to be a mentor? Who could benefit? Big brothers and Big Sisters are always in need of qualified mentors.
- Giving money to a person on the street? What am I perpetuating?
The options are endless.
The answers that breed consciousness may not always be obvious, but now that you are thinking about it, you’re off to a great start. By logging your contribution, it will count to provide an opportunity for one person, who in turn can impact a family or an entire community. Collaboratively we will create a positive ripple effect.
We invite you to make your contribution count – click here to log your contribution.
Share the #MyContributionCounts campaign on social sites to spread the participation & impact!
Until next time, make your contributions count. #YouMeWeMovement #MyContributionCounts
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Suzanne F. Stevens, Conscious-Contributor Cultivator
Certified Speaking Professional, (CSP)
Social entrepreneur |Professional Speaker | Host | Author | Philanthropist
Book launch coming soon: YouMeWe: lead tomorrow’s legacy today
2017 National President: Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS)
Awards: TIAW World of Difference Recipient for women economic empowering
Accreditation: Suzanne is one of 65 Certified Speaking Professionals (CSP) in Canada and is in the exclusive 15% of speakers who have this designation internationally.