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Giving Back - A Chore? A Duty? A Delight?

Thanks to Walgreens for sponsoring my writing. Help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. [I did! I chose Feed America]

Two weeks ago my pet community held its 3rd annual social media conference in Vienna, VA and despite hurricanes and earthquakes, all went off as planned. We had some of the best speakers on the web in BlogPaws-paw attendance. Our sessions got rave reviews from the attendees. I wasn't able to attend many - actually only sneaked in on two - so I am dependant on the attendees for the review of them.

However, I did make it to all the keynotes (probably because I had housekeeping announcements and such so...I had to be there; lol)...and while ALL were inspiring and exceptional, I want to mention our closing keynote, Francois Gossieaux because he shared some information that was both startling and exciting to those of us in the pet community.

One thing about our pet community - we give back, a lot. We're watching to see how the brands we buy give back, also. It's not a reward based focus. It's a "what's good for the community" based focus. Francois, who is the co-author of The Hyper-Social Organization, btw, a book well-worth your time, talked about the give-back focus of particular peoples. He said his research showed that pet people are more likely to give back than other groups. Naturally, the room exploded into applause when he showed that slide.

What I find encouraging about my pet community, and women in general (we're mostly women, with a few good men scattered throughout), is that we give back with abundance. We support our local  communities and the world-wide community. We know everything is interconnected.

Here are some ways I hear my group gives back and that I try to also give back. These are ways everyone can give back to their local community (which impacts the greater world-wide community - never doubt that!):

  1. Volunteer at a shelter. This could be for your fellow man, or an animal shelter. Never forget that animals are an integral part of our society.
  2. Give up that daily cup of Java purchased on your way to work every day, for just one week and donate the proceeds to a good cause.
  3. Get involved with your favorite charity, beyond that yearly check you send them. Help with their newsletter or email mailings; offer to answer phones; devote one blog post a week to their cause.
  4. Gather a group of your friends together and clean up a local park or highway, without being asked.
  5. Find creative ways to involve kids. The more we get our kids involved, the more likely they are to participate on-going as they grow up. My granddaugther participated in BlogPaws and writes a blog called Start the Change. It's her attempt to get kids her age (13 years old) more involved in  shutting down puppy mills and recognizing the value of adopting a pet from a shelter. [this picture is from a garage sale she held this summer, and turned over all the money to a pet shelter - that's Olive, my little puppy mill rescue, in the forefront]

Save-Olive Every single effort counts.

Francois taught us that giving back is a powerful way to get your community engaged in what you do or what you feel is important. When YOU give back, you inspire others to do the same. As I said in my opening statement at BlogPaws, we're a collective voice. Collectively, we can move mountains.

Don't forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.
Yvonne DiVita


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I am an emerging artist without a lot of financial resources, so I have to give through action. I do this by helping local animal rescue groups with publicity and fund raising and obtaining donated products from pet brands. I also give back with my artwork, using it to raise awareness via the Okey's Promise: Art for a Cause project. (

Average Jane

I volunteer for an animal rescue group in several capacities: maintaining their Facebook page, helping to maintain their website, and I take a shift each weekend taking care of the cats they have at a Petco near my house.

I also belong to Soroptimist, a businesswomen's community service organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls. Right now I'm their public relations chair and I serve on several other committees as well.

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