Ways To Make A Difference

9 Ways To Make A Difference When It Comes To Causes You're Passionate About

There are plenty of ways to make a difference.

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There are a lot of causes to support. You may want to support The Trevor Project, or you may want to save rhinos. Everyone has their own passions, and there are a lot of causes that you can make a difference by supporting.

When you're trying to make a difference, there are a few ways that you can approach this.

Start By Donating

Causes will require donations. Money is used for everything, from website hosting to educating the public on a certain cause. Average donation amounts are $128, but this figure is skewed by major donors.

Even $10 can make a huge difference.

Donate what you can when you can — every last penny counts for many of these causes.

Consider Volunteering

Being a volunteer for a cause that you're passionate about is one of the most fulfilling, honorable steps that you can take. Many of these causes and projects would never be able to exist without the dedication of volunteers.

These are the individuals that keep these causes up and running.

An easy way to do this is to:

  • Visit the cause's official site
  • Find the "Get Involved" or "Volunteer" page
  • Apply to be a volunteer

If you can't find any information on volunteering, you'll want to call the organization's official number or write them an email to find out how to become a volunteer.

Go To Official Events In Your City

If your city is hosting one of the cause's official events, you'll want to become a part of it. Invite all of your friends and family. Social media can help with getting word out about an event, and it's a great way for a cause to go viral.

You don't need to be spammy with your promotion of the event.

You can simply write a fast post asking friends and family to join you. You'll be surprised by how easy it will be to get others interested in a cause that you're passionate about.

Find Out How To Host An Official Event

Hosting an official event is also an option if none are being held in your area. You'll want to inquire about the requirements to host an event, if the cause will allow you to host the event in the first place.

A lot of causes are very strict on who they allow to host events.

There may be requirements that you don't meet when trying to host an event. If this is the case, what you can do is petition the cause to host an event in your area. Volunteers that have been working with the cause may have an easier time hosting the event than someone who has just gotten involved with the cause.

A lot of meeting halls or even the local library may allow you to host the event for free.

Nonprofit causes will find that a lot of businesses will offer special discounts or offers for a nonprofit.

Create A Support Website

If you're really passionate about a cause, start a new website or community to spread the word about it. Make sure that you make it clear that you're not the official site for the cause. But that doesn't mean that you can't:

  • Promote the cause
  • Lead those interested in the cause to the official website

It will cost you $10 for a domain name (or cheaper) and just a few dollars a month for VPS hosting.

Note: Make sure that you're not infringing on trademarks or copyrights when registering the domain name or creating a logo.

Spread The Word Through Merchandise

Merchandise is one of the main ways that organizations get the word out about their causes. This is why a lot of causes will provide donors with apparel. The t-shirts and other gear that are given out will allow you to spread the word about the cause you're interested in.

This means when you're going to a concert, wear the apparel.

If you plan on going to a major event, wear the cause's shirt. Why? Your contribution to getting the word out is going to help the cause raise more money. Others that see your shirt may become curious about the cause and research it or donate, too.

Talk About the Cause On Social Media

Use your social media account to spread the word about the cause. A lot of causes that fail only fail because there isn't enough traction. Even some of the world's best causes had a rough beginning, so it may be your Tweet or Facebook post that makes a difference.

Followers and friends need to be educated, but you don't want to spam them.

Don't take rejection of the cause or non-responses about the cause to heart. Instead, try to educate your followers as best as you can, but also respect that they may not agree or be as passionate about a cause as you are.

Share Latest Developments

Latest developments are going to need to be on your radar. If this is a cause you're passionate about, you'll need to know what's happening with it. Spend the time to sign up for the cause's newsletter, read their blog posts and know all of the new developments that are occurring.

Malaria, for example, is a cause that many people are passionate about. And, looking at the latest news and developments, it seems human and cattle decoys are being used to "trick" mosquitoes, and it's actually quite effective.

These developments are huge, so learn about them and share them with the world.

Follow, Comments And Share Official Accounts

Official social media accounts and profiles exist. These are the accounts and profiles that you'll want to follow and become engaged with. Comment on their posts, share their posts and accounts.

It's often these small actions that lead to big changes for the cause.

So, the next time you're passionate about a cause, it's time to step up your game and help the cause spread and grow. Your actions will make a big difference.

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Sweet Potatoes Are The Most Underrated Vegetable Of All Time

Everything you need to know about the pieces of edible gold we call "sweet potatoes" and why they will always perish over any plain old potato.

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The potato. The heart of the American food industry. A versatile vegetable crop soaked in grease that brings us some of our favorite appetizers and sides. From french fries, to curly fries, to tater tots, to baked potatoes, to hash browns, this hallowed vegetable has become the Johnny Depp of the vegetable family. Now, we are all aware that the configurations of potatoes are limitless, but we commonly disregard the potato's delicious and neglected brother: the sweet potato. I, a credible food connoisseur and highly experienced eater, am here to tell you why you are missing out on a world of flavor if you choose to dismiss the beloved sweet potato and its many entities.

Let me first start this tirade by proving to you my credibility...I, too, once believed that regular french fries were better than sweet potato fries. I scoffed at the idea of choosing those ridiculous orange sticks over my tried-and-true plain boys. I could not be convinced that any sweetness should impede on my savory snacks.

These were dark times.

It was not until a mere month ago that my mind was changed forever.

It was a sunny (scary) Sunday morning, and my pounding head led me on a mission to indulge myself in the finest breakfast foods. I entered my favorite breakfast diner, Angelo's, and waited anxiously for my waiter to stroll over. She filled our water cups and asked if we wanted to start with any appetizers. Before my stingy self could even decline the offer, my best friend ordered a round of sweet potato fries for the table and the waiter scurried away. I stared blankly at her for a solid minute. I could not wrap my head around the concept of munching on sweet potato fries at 8 in the morning. She just stared back and said, "Trust me." Suddenly, a tray of blood orange sticks and a mysterious tan sauce appeared in front of my face. As much as I wanted to ponder the morality of this decision, the hunger began to take over, and I shoved one of the fries into my mouth.

In an instant, it was as if time and space had lost all meaning. When my teeth hit the fry, the perfectly crusted outer shell crunched softly making a sound much like your foot crushing a dried leaf. The now exposed inside of the fry was the perfect blend of mush and warmth that felt like your mouth was receiving a hug. The flavor...unbelievable. It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't a fry — this was a culinary experience. This fry single-handedly blew the roof off of any predisposed ideas I had about American cuisine.

I am well aware that my fry experience cannot be simulated again by any average food-goer, but I challenge you, the reader of this article, to get out there and enjoy a sweet potato in any form. Stray from your basic fries or tater tots and dabble in a sweet treat which will undoubtedly bring you flavorful satisfaction.

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