My Give Good Blog commitment is twofold:
First, to devote some portion of my storytelling efforts in this space (and my other online spaces) to tell stories that support or promote causes that are important to me – to continue to speak narrative truth to power in support of muscular dystrophy awareness (for my nephew, Tanner), to promote awareness of post-partum depression and to support any and all causes related to maternal and child health (the latter via my work at BlogHer and as a March of Dimes Mom.) I’m also passionately committed to raising awareness about how HIV and AIDS affects mothers and children in the developing world, and worked with the Global Fund and their Born HIV Free project this year to get those stories into the flow of discussion on the Internet, the better to encourage people to pressure their governments to continue to support the UN’s Millenium Development Goals for 2015, one of which is the elimination of mother-child transmission of HIV. You can read all of my posts on that subject, and on my trip to Lesotho to see Born HIV Free funding in action, in this stream. If you want to a reason to support that cause in a one-minute musical burst, check this out.
Second, to ensure that any and all partnerships with or participation in corporate projects (basically, anything that yields payment or gifts or desirable opportunity to me) yield some form of social good – whether assistance in generating resources and/or awareness for one of my causes or for social responsibility generally, or actual contribution of funds or nice things or what-have-you to people or organizations that need them more than I do (see the post immediately below.)
What else? I’ve written extensively on using social media to promote and support social good. This is one such post. This is another. Technorati interviewed me on the subject; you can catch that interview at their State Of The Blogosphere 2010 site. I’ve also written extensively on the idea that mom blogging – promotion of specific causes aside – is a revolutionary and feminist act, and so is itself a form of social good. You can catch up on some of those posts in this stream.
I also Blog With Integrity. You should check that out, too.
Do you Give Good Blog? Let me know – I’d love to hear about it. Do you want to? Keep reading…
Giving Good Blog
Last Christmas, I found myself surrounded by stuff. Stuff to keep, stuff to eat, stuff to give away, stuff to review, lots and lots of stuff and lots and lots of promises of more stuff. And I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t kinda cool. It is nice to get stuff. I like stuff.
But like most bloggers – I would venture to say, like most persons living in the developed, Western world – I have a surplus of stuff. Even in a recession, I have a surplus of stuff. More than that: I have a surplus of good fortune.
So I asked myself, some weeks before Christmas, as I contemplated the good fortune that has attended my blogging career: faced with an overabundance of gifts and giveaways and assorted virtual what-nots, WHAT WOULD LINUS DO? You know, the thoughtful little boy who encourages Charlie Brown to look beyond the trappings of glitz and sparkle and stuff each Christmas, to find its true meaning, which has something to do with love and generosity? What would HE do? Besides read excerpts from the Gospel of Luke, that is, which, face it, is lovely but not all that interesting once you’ve heard it six bajillion times.
And I came up with this: I decided give away a portion of everything that I receive for online giveaways, which is to say, I decided to give away some share of the stuff that I receive to someone who needs it more than me or the Internets. For example – as I explained here – I decided to take multiples of toy-type stuff to a toy drive or shelter, and with giveaway or review materials that are not toy drive appropriate, I am going to purchase toys in lieu of those products and my children and I will take them, together, to the toy drive so that they can be passed on to other, needier children and families. So that they can see how wonderful it is to give. I also decided that I would amend my advertising and review policies for my personal blog, and make a commitment to always asking companies that approach me for advertising or reviews to consider offering charitable donations and/or extra products for me to donate to charity.
I will continue to do giveaways and the like at Her Bad Mother and at The Bad Moms Club because, let’s face it, they’re fun and they draw traffic. And traffic means attention which means an opportunity to plug good causes and to get other people to think about good causes and paying it forward. Which is what this is all about, really. PAYING FORWARD our good fortune, blog-related or otherwise. But for every giveaway, there’s a GIVE GOOD BLOG catch: for example, commenters must mention a charity or cause that they support, and I make a donation to that charity – a tithe of my ad revenue for the month – on behalf of the winning person. Or, they simply explain what they’re going to do pay their good fortune forward if they win. Or even if they don’t.
So here’s my project: I want everyone to do this, or something like this, or even just something that is in this spirit. And I want everyone to do it a lot.
How do you participate?
If you have a blog, and are running giveaways, do something similar – set aside one of those giveaways to give to a local family that might appreciate the boost in these difficult times, or take it to a toy drive, or invite your readers to comment to win a donation to a charity of their choice. Ask your readers to comment about what they’ll do to pay forward. Ask companies that approach you for advertising/reviews/giveaways if they’ll consider making a charitable donation in addition to offering a giveway or posting an ad or whatever. Ask them if they can offer an extra giveaway item, to be donated to someone who needs it. (See examples of what I’ve done here and here and here and here.)
If you don’t do giveaways or reviews or private advertising at your blog, you can still take part. Just make a commitment to writing, at least once a month, about what you’re doing in your own life to pay your good fortune forward. Write about the little things that you’re teaching your children to do to make the world a better place. Write about your favorite charity, or about the little old lady whose sidewalk you shovel every winter. Just write about some little thing that you do to make the world a better place. It can be as simple as a two-line post that says today, I smiled at a stranger and they smiled back and we were both the happier for it.
That’s all. Just make a commitment to Give Good Blog, and then do it.
Let me know if you do (leave links to your posts at this site, or e-mail them to me at givegoodblog at gmail dot com or herbadmother at gmail dot com.) I’d love to read what you’re up to – and would love to be able to point to as many examples as possible when I write or speak about the many ways in which bloggers do good stuff.
Just do it, ‘kay? Linus would approve.
Also: BUTTONZ! STEAL SUM BUTTONZ!
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Other causes I support: