Spread Joy

This post brought to you by Create the Good. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Living Between the Lines.

I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise to you guys, but I have a lot of faith in people. I believe that most people are good most of the time, and I believe that they’ll do good for others, if given the chance. That’s what I love about this time of year – that faith tends to get rewarded. And to reward all of you for lending a hand, I’ve teamed up with Create the Good to tell you a little bit about my volunteer work – and give you a shot at an incredible giveaway!

I try to be helpful, and at this point, most of my focus is on empowering others. I spend a lot of time helping out with the Collegiate Congressional Debate Association, or CCDA, empowering students. Sure, debate helps them hone their public speaking and rhetoric skills, but the CCDA’s mission goes beyond that. We want to help foster political conscientiousness and involvement in youth across our region, and I’m proud to say that the incredible team I work with tends to do a good job.

The CCDA is entirely non-partisan, so there’s no political agenda – the organization itself doesn’t take a stance on any issue, and that’s the way we like it. All debate topics are student chosen, student written, and student run. At the end of the day, we’re not trying to influence what people think – just how they do. Our goal is for students to be informed about and active in the political process, so they can prepare themselves to be leaders in the future – and drive change in the areas they care about most.

And sure, I’m a supporter of some more specific causes. I’m an animal lover, an ardent believer in water rights, and I’m coming for pediatric cancer with a vengeance. But it seems like the most rewarding causes I can advocate for are the ones that empower others. I don’t want the efforts I make to help one person and stop, I want them to spread, to touch lots of issues and lots of lives.

And that’s why I’m so excited about the opportunity I get to share with you! Making a change doesn’t have to be hard, I think all of us can remember a time when a single, simple act of kindness helped us get through a bad day.

Create the Good is a campaign that encourages all of us to be the engines of positive change in the world – and after the few days (or weeks, or months, or years) we’ve had, the world could use some positivity. Create the Good isn’t asking you to change the whole world on your own – its 25 Days, 25 Ways to Give movement is about spreading at least one small kindness every day, and I think sometimes we underestimate how much impact those little things have.

My favorite so far has been the inspirational quote day – I pretty much live by this one:

The first time I read that quote was on some random image on social media, and it was exactly what I needed to hear that day – you never know who you’ll be reaching with your words of encouragement, which is what I love about these random acts of kindness. They have the potential to help and, yes, empower, so many people. And as a thank-you for making the world a better place, Create the Good has made 25 Days, 25 Ways to Give into a sweepstakes. By participating, you’ll be entered to win a retreat to Smuggler’s Notch Resort in Vermont, or one of twenty-five $100 Visa cards – ensuring that being kind isn’t always a thankless task.

What’s your favorite way to volunteer your time? Any causes you wish you had a chance to give more to? And don’t forget to sign up for the 25 Days, 25 Ways to Give campaign to help in your community – and maybe win a little something for yourself in the process!

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