The day starts before your alarm goes off. The dreams that occupy your restless sleep are full of checklists and to-dos and nightmares over where your toddler stuck his applesauce packet. And when the alarm does go off, it somehow jumps the clock to a point where it’s too late for a decent breakfast. You race out the door with your little one who — inevitably — only has one shoe.
This thing, “life,” is nuts. And when you try to appease a far-off boss on top of it all? Forget it. It’s crazy. But... working moms have been killing it for years, making it to soccer practices, getting the stains out of Pig-Pen’s favorite tee and managing to keep a crooked smile — and a job.
All this and you still succeed at having room in that big heart of yours for your community. Kudos to you for wanting to give back. Really. You are changing the lives of those you don’t even know.
But how can you fit giving back into an already jam-packed schedule? It’s possible, and without a ton of effort. Here are seven ways working moms can support the community:
01 of 07
Pay the Extra Dollar at the Grocery Counter
Grocery store counters are great at rounding up the troops for a good cause. A simple question of “Would you like to donate today?” comes with a simple response. Put that extra dollar on your tab.
It’s totally normal to feel a little remorse when you say “yes.” Sometimes, especially when that bill is going into the $100+ range, every dollar seems to make you wince. But just as you feel your wallet tightening, remember that one dollar may mean an extra meal or a much-needed article of clothing... to someone else. A little goes a long way.
02 of 07
If you want to give back to your community, put your money into the goods produced by your neighbors. Whether this means grabbing your veggies from the farm stand or hitting up the local restaurants, shopping locally can only be good for building up your community.
Show your neighbors you support their business by going to them first for birthday or wedding gifts. You’re likely to get something more meaningful and of a higher quality
03 of 07
Use Shopping Programs to Benefit Local Charities
There are multiple ways to take advantage of shopping programs that will benefit charities of your choice. An excellent example of an online program is AmazonSmile. Through this program the online shopping giant, Amazon, offers, you are able to have 0.5% of your purchases donated to a charity of your choice. With over one million charities registered for the program, you shouldn’t have any trouble choosing a cause.
For an offline shopping program, consider participating in the discount days often... offered by restaurants to support a cause. Your kid’s school, for example, may be eligible to participate and receive a portion of the restaurant’s sales for a day to go toward new playground equipment. You and your family need dinner, right? Make a night of it and head out to a restaurant to support a cause.
04 of 07
Pay It Forward When Hitting the Drive-Thru
Stories of paying it forward in coffee shops have gained national attention, and rightly so, as the movement for kindness hits every hometown and heart. The concept of paying it forward is simple. The next time you’re at the coffee shop, pay for your own coffee and that of the person behind you.
Whether your kindness triggers a movement from them or not, chances are you’ve made their day just a little bit better — and that’s a good feeling.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Arrange a Meal Train for New Moms
As a mom, you know how difficult those first days at home are. You’re usually lacking sleep and grabbing at whatever food is closest at a time when nutrition and recovery is essential. Help those new moms out by setting up a meal train.
A meal train is just a sign-up sheet of friends and family members who are willing to take the new mom and family a meal. Throw it together through email or private messages on social media. Just be sure to double-check the dates and times with the new mom to make... sure there aren’t any scheduling conflicts.
If anyone feels a little uncomfortable sending a meal all on their own, have groups sign up together, each taking a portion of the meal to make. This will spread the workload and give those busy, working moms like you a chance to participate.
06 of 07
Participate in a Walk/Run for Charity
Charity organizations all over the country are putting together walk/runs. They’re often a 5k you can do at your own pace, and participants help fundraise through sponsorships and donations they solicit from family and friends.
The great part about these 5ks is the insatiable feeling of being a part of something bigger and more meaningful. These walk/runs bring people together to support a common cause, raise funds for research and build awareness.
Many events welcome families, too, and have... kid-specific events to start getting hooked on giving from a young age.
07 of 07
Go Through Your Closets
It’s easy to forget the abundance we have when we’re rushing around during the day. But when we reach for the door handle to the closet and twenty pairs of shoes — or more! — come flying out, we realize just how fortunate we are.
By going through your closets and finding the items you no longer wear or those that no longer fit, you can narrow down your wardrobe and give away the excess. Sites like ThredUp have built their business on handling and promoting secondhand shopping, a way to reduce... waste and stay in style.
Being a mom is tough. Being a working mom is tough, too. But giving back to the community while handling everything like a pro? It’s not so tough. Use these seven ideas to make a difference in the lives of those closest to you.