Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GiveForward and contains affiliate links, but the words and thoughts are my own.
Last week I shared that I am in the process of getting a divorce. It’s not easy to share something so personal, but writing is my therapy and I needed to get what was swirling in my head out. Since the post, I’ve received an amazing amount of comments, messages and calls of support from friends online and in real life.
In the past couple of months, I’ve talked with a lot of people about my situation. I’ve needed advice, information or just a listening ear. My support system has rallied around me, and I’ve come to realize the importance of asking for help.
One of the best pieces of advice I have received so far is to not be afraid to speak up when I need something. People will help. But you have to let them know what you need. Too often people keep their challenges to themselves because they think they should be able to handle it themselves. That others will judge them or simply not understand their situation. There’s often a stigma attached to asking for help, as if it were a sign of weakness.
When I saw that a Facebook friend moved into a new house in the town next to mine, I messaged her and asked if she might give me her empty boxes. Not only did she accommodate, but she offered me free drive by hugs any time I want and an open invitation to visit again and just hang out. And I thought I was just scoring some boxes to use as I prepare to sell my house.
I’ve found that people do want to give to others. They go the extra mile when they know the story and feel the desire to help.
Giveforward.com is an online fundraising website that gives people an easy way to raise money for those loved ones in need. I first wrote about GiveForward in 2011. They are worth another mention after 3 years!
As an organization, GiveForward focuses on compassion. As a platform, GiveForward helps to break the stigma of asking for help and empowers those who want to give. Whether you create a fundraiser or give to a fundraiser, you can feel good about helping someone in need. To date, GiveForward has helped raise $98,051,700 towards medical expenses. My post from 2011 noted over $9 million, so it is evident that people have discovered the power of this fundraising platform.
I’ve seen families suffer greatly due to unexpected medical problems and the expenses that come with them. I’ve also seen people rally for those families to lessen the burden. What would happen if they didn’t ask for help? Life would certainly be different.