heARTful Action: Giving


“My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. ” — Maya Angelou

heARTful is a word I made up to mean awareness from and leading with the heart. heARTful Action posts focus on how to stand up and create a culture of health, inclusion and kindness. heARTful Action posts are calls to love warriors everywhere.

I’m committed to positive social action and … I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. As I open my ears, eyes, and heart, I’m also committed to offering practical, tangible information so you can do your own heARTful action.

Today is #GivingTuesday, so I’ll focus on three aspects of giving: money, time, and attention.

(1) Giving Money

This is a great time to consider the causes and organizations that matter the most to you and offering them financial support. There are so many charities it can be challenging to know how best to support the work that matters to you. A site that I appreciate is Charity Watch which rates charities according to how much of donated money goes to overhead and how much goes to the work of the organization as well as other metrics. You can search for a particular charity or look through categories or top-rated lists.

This holiday, some of my gifts will be in the form of donations. In addition, I’m selling art (so far, prints and safety pin earrings) on my web site* and donating the proceeds to two organizations that are in alignment with my personal intentions: CarbonFund and Human Rights First.
* Want to be part of the giving? Go to http://www.susanmcculley.com/shop and check out what I’m offering!

(2) Giving Time

In addition to giving money, of course, organizations need volunteers. I’m in the early process with this part of giving so I’ll update with more on this soon. I’m leaning toward helping to build trails at the Ragged Mountain Reservoir and the International Rescue Committee refugee center and would love to have some people to do this with. Given that, if anyone has favorite charities that they donate their time to in the Charlottesville area, please put them in the comments below and perhaps we can put together teams of people with similar interests!

(3) Giving Attention

I detest making phone calls. Even simple things like making doctor’s appointments and scheduling car work, I resist. Making calls to government offices is way outside my comfort zone. But these days, the importance of making my voice heard and giving my attention to critical issues outweighs my telephone discomfort.

Friends who work in government agencies confirm that calls voicing opinions carry more weight than petitions or emails. So, here’s what has helped me in making calls this week (with big thanks to Joy Trammel Tanksley who coached me to 7 calls I made this weekend):

(1) Figure out who to call about the issue you care about. Make a list of offices or agencies with the numbers.

(2) Write a script. When I’m nervous or emotional about something, any articulateness abandons me. So when I make a call, I know exactly what I want to say. I ask people who know more than I do about it for suggestions and then I tailor it to me.

(3) Make a commitment. It helps me to tell someone that I’m going to make these calls. Accountability, baby. It makes a difference.

(4) Take a breath. When I’ve got what I need, I take a deep breath, relax shoulders and anywhere else I’m tense, and I dial the number.

Once you have a personal intention for your own heARTful Action [link], identify ways that you can give your money, time and attention!


Join us online in the heARTful Action group! It’s a place to share ideas and intentions and to gather support and colleagues in the actions that you want to do. All are welcome (whether you’re in Charlottesville or no).

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