This post is sponsored by TIDAL and Her Campus Media. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Inspiration Indulgence possible!
The older I get, I realize how important community is. When I was in college, I participated in a variety of community service initiatives and projects. To be completely honest, at the time I did many of these things merely to make friends and to boost my resume for grad school. I loved that I was helping others, but I didn’t actually realize how important community was to me until after I graduated and became a community member myself as an adult.
After I graduated college, I moved back to my small home town. I struggled adjusting and figuring out how to make my “mark.” I wasn’t the same high school girl; now, I was a young adult who had very different goals and aspirations. At first, I didn’t participate in many community functions and I rarely did any community service. It soon hit me that perhaps I was feeling out of place because I wasn’t putting myself out there like I used to. In both high school and college, I was incredibly involved with my community, and I realized that I was missing that involvement. Sure, it was nice to have the extra free time, but what was I really gaining from that?
We often don’t see how much giving back to others actually benefits ourselves. Immersing ourselves in a community builds relationships with those of all ages and helps us feel tied to something greater than us. Once I started finding causes that I was passionate about, such as volunteering with my fiance’s fire department, I quickly began to feel like my old self again.
Today, I’m partnering with TIDAL, a global music and entertainment platform, to bring awareness to their Social Wave for Change initiative. TIDAL has partnered with Lil Wayne to promote community service among college students to encourage social activism. Lil Wayne and TIDAL are giving college students the opportunity of a lifetime by rewarding them for impactful community service. Because I love this cause and think it’s SO important to give back, I want to tell you all about how it works:
-Through February 29th, any undergraduate college student at a four-year university can participate in TIDAL’s Social Wave For Change. Students must publicly post a photo or video on TIDAL’s Facebook wall or on their Instagram of them completing any type of community service act. The caption must include #TIDALXCHANGE, their school name and tag a friend.
-A panel of judges selected by TIDAL will review all social media submissions and determine the finalists. Once the finalists are announced, the public will vote on the winner.
-Finalists will receive a silent disco event for their school. The winner will receive a Lil Wayne concert near his or her school!
In addition, all participants are eligible for a 3-month complimentary subscription to TIDAL!
This is such a great opportunity for college kids to get involved! For the rest of you young adults out there, I created a list of some other great alternatives to get involved.
1.) Volunteer as a tutor
Schools are always looking for a positive role model for their students. Check out your local schools or even community colleges to see if you could assist in any way!
2.) Organize a food drive
I used to help with food drives all of the time in high school. Is there a local food pantry in your area that could use a little help this winter? A little effort goes a long way! Set up a few drop-off bins at your work and see if you can collect some canned goods for the cause.
3.) Join a mission trip abroad
There are plenty of ways that you can get involved overseas. My trip to Jamaica my sophomore year of college changed my life. You can read more about that here!
This link will help you get started on planning your volunteer journey abroad.
4.) Spend time at a nursing home
Nursing homes can always use volunteers to visit with their lonely residents. All it takes is a few hours to make someone’s day!
5.) Help out at your local animal shelter
How can you not love playing with cute puppies?! Check out your local animal shelter to see if they could use an extra helping hand.
6.) Donate blood
I don’t think people realize how life-saving blood donation is. I follow an incredible mother on Facebook who updates us daily on the condition of her son Miles, a young baby who has a rare disease and just recently had to have a liver transplant. When she was asked by the Facebook community what could be done to help her baby boy, she replied, “Please donate blood at your local center.”
7.) Participate in something unique to your community
My college, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, particpated in the Rotary Lights festival every year, a holiday light tradition that was free admission with a canned good. All proceeds went to local food pantries. Many local businesses and community organizations donate a tree to light up for the river walk, and volunteers spend thousands of hours setting the lights up. Each year in college, I helped set up the lights with my Communications Club.
8.) Help raise money for a person in need
I am most compelled to volunteer for causes that benefit families I know personally. Is there a person in your community who recently went through something traumatic and needs help financially? Volunteer your time to help with the organization of a benefit to help raise money for that person in need.
9.) Participate in a charity walk
The possibilities are endless. Walk for Special Olympics, the March of Dimes for sick babies, or whatever cause interests you. Get active for a good cause!
10.) Advocate for a cause you are passionate about
The truth is, you’re not going to want to give back unless the cause pulls at your heart strings. Ask yourself- what are you truly passionate about? Is it victims of domestic violence? Is it for homeless veterans? Even bringing awareness to these issues by being a vocal advocate is such a great way to give back. Often times, we forget how powerful our voices truly are.
What is your favorite way to give back? Will you be entering TIDAL’s contest?