Growing the Good.

Photo by Nicole Hill Gerulat

Brent and I have been having conversations. Late at night, first thing in the morning, over text, at lunch. It’s about the calling we both feel. we both hear. The one we can’t ignore. 

Everything has been given to us. Love. Joy. Food. Shelter (more than just shelter, our own house!) Children. Health (and second chances at health). 

We can think of nothing that we want or need in life except what is right in front of us. That’s the dream isn’t it? For any of us? To have enough.

So what now? Do we just sit back and keep receiving? Stuffing our proverbial pockets with this love, joy, prosperity? We are not rich but we can not help but feel indulgent in the gifts we already have.

So we have spent the last few months making plans to answer the call.  Our family sets aside a little money every month to give to charitable causes. We wait for them to find us. A high school classmate raising money for cancer research. A coworker asking for items to help a family in need.  A friend looking to rescue a dog from a shelter. Every single month, someone, somewhere puts out the call for help in doing something good and we have yet to have a month pass where our funds have not found a cause.

But that’s not enough. It doesn’t satisfy the call. It only throws fuel to the flame. So we’re taking it a step further. This is our year of giving (our first step on what we hope will be a life altering commitment) - We are calling it Growing the Good. We are looking at all facets of our life and finding ways to start handing out what we’ve received.

A very blatant target for me has been this blog. It has become something beyond just a place to collect my words. It has become a community. A platform. And more recently, a place to profit. What do I do with the money I make on this blog? We use it to pay bills, to cover the increased household expenses of raising two children - I imagine we spend the sponsorship money earned on this blog the same way that a lot of folks who have paying advertisers do. 

But that’s about to change. For the next six months, I will be donating 100% of my blog sponsorship dollars to charity. A different charity every month. And I hope that compounded with our family’s monthly charitable fund, that it could be truly beneficial to others. So here’s the plan:

  • I don’t want to turn my blog into a walking billboard, so I will still continue to work with those company’s whom I feel best exemplify the quality and thoughtfulness I feel comfortable promoting on my blog - but I am putting out the call. If you are handmade crafter or artisan, a mom and pop shop, or a socially responsible company that makes helpful products for babies and families - this is your chance to help us help others.
  • I’m also opening up my blog banner advertisements to other bloggers for the first time. If I can help you promote your blog AND put your funding towards a charitable cause then that seems like a win-win for everyone, right? 
  • As readers, I hope that you will join me in frequenting the blogs and businesses who decide to participate to show your support for their willingness to spend their marketing dollars on my blog in support of this cause. Once a month, I will host a general sponsor post where I highlight every sponsor that month and the charitable sponsorship total from the month before. 
  • So what charities will we be supporting? Well, I don’t know yet. I’m going to follow the same wait-for-it approach that has guided our charitable donations so far. I can tell you that all of them will be in support of children and family causes and I will post info on each charity at the beginning of every month so that you know where your funds are going.

I’ve been quietly letting my new sponsors know of this arrangement and any and all sponsorship fees starting March 1st will be put towards this month’s cause (I’ve already selected March’s cause - a separate post on that to come). If you know of a charitable organization that is doing incredible good in the lives of children or families, I invite you to leave details in the comments below for consideration.

This is just the beginning. We are turning the mirror on our good fortune and looking for every avenue to reflect it. We’ve been blessed for far too long NOT to do something about it.  So businesses, bloggers, and readers - I hope you will join me in this year of giving. Tomorrow I’ll post details on sponsorship for those interested in March’s important cause. Let’s grow the good, together.