Holaaaaaaa mi amors.
I have been excited to write about the content of this post for quite some time now. This post is about a few causes that have become near and dear to my heart over the course of this year. For those of you that know me, I have always been interested in giving back to the world in some way, shape, or form. I love helping people in need and I’m always on the lookout for causes that touch my heart and light a fire within me.
In college, I was in a National Service Sorority called Omega Phi Alpha (shoutout to all my sisters in service!) and that put me on the path to understanding exactly what it means to be someone that gives in all forms of the word. Giving time, money, effort, and yourself to a cause is how we can make change across the world. Service is always something that will be a part of my life, and as I have gotten older and left college, I find that now it is my responsibility to seek out opportunities to give back.
The purpose of this post is not to make you sad or to make you donate to these causes. It is just to bring awareness to some causes that I have been supporting and following. The first step to being able to make change is to be aware of what is going on, so hopefully this post will open your eyes to some things you might be missing.
- Goats of Anarchy
I love me some goats ya’ll. Always have, always will. Goats of Anarchy is a non-profit farm for special needs baby goats in New Jersey. You can’t tell me that isn’t adorable sounding! I first found out about Goats of Anarchy on Instagram because I’ll be honest, I follow more animal Instagram accounts than human ones. I love animals and have always had a soft spot for helping animals in need. The farm is home to many rescued special needs goats (not just babies) and it is a place for rehabilitation. The owner of the farm, Leanne Lauricella, loves her babies so much that she built them “The Enchanted Goat Forest,”which has a large playground and a wooded area for the goats to enjoy. Rehabilitating these goats and keeping up with their daily needs is expensive and Leanne currently has a gofundme page to raise money for the upkeep of the farm and the needs of the goats. If you feel so inclined, go donate to the cause and give the Goats of Anarchy a follow on social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) for adorable videos and pictures of the baby goaties! You will not regret it (they post pictures of baby goats in sweaters, IN SWEATERS.)
2. FLAVNT Streetwear
As you all know I’m always going to advocate for LGBTQ+ causes for obvious reasons. I ran across FLAVNT (pronounced like FLAUNT) Streetwear when I was in Austin a few weekends ago for Austin Pride and I really love their concept. Mostly because you can see the immediate impact of your giving. FLAVNT Streetwear is a gender neutral clothing company that benefits the trans community. By just buying an item of clothing from their website, 15% of your purchase goes toward helping a trans person get top surgery. If you don’t know much about the transgender world, top surgery is a big deal and it is super expensive. Top surgery helps trans people (who want it) feel more comfortable to be their true selves. There are so many trans people out in the world that want so badly to have the sense of being that comes with top surgery and some will never get the opportunity to have it because of many different factors. Think how cool it would be to help fund someone’s top surgery and help them become closer to feeling comfortable being themselves! FLAVNT Streetwear is based in Austin, Texas and was founded by Courtney and Chris Rhodes. Courtney and Chris are twins and Chris identifies as trans (FTM). In the past two years, FLAVNT Streetwear has raised $7,500 and helped 5 people get gender confirming surgeries. SO COOL! Check out their website for more information and buy a badass shirt from them!
3. Save Standing Rock/Rezpect Our Water
This last one has caught quite the attention of the media lately, which I am grateful for. It is something I hadn’t heard about until this summer, but it is something that I feel everyone should know about. Currently, a 1,172 mile crude oil pipeline is set to be constructed through four states. The construction of this pipeline will destroy natural resources, land, and the homes of Native Americans. The pipeline construction has been cleared by the Army Corps Engineer and will start in North Dakota and end in Illinois. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota has been protesting the construction of the pipeline since it was just an idea because the construction of the pipeline tears through most of their land and will effect the quality of the drinking water on their reservation.
Don’t even get me started on the injustice that Native Americans have suffered up to this point on their OWN land. The sad truth is that this is still happening today and that all generations of Native Americans will understand struggle. They will all understand that their homes aren’t really theirs and that breaks my heart. As with any society of people, Native Americans have their own issues (alcoholism, unemployment, poverty), but that does not make them any less in need of help. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe ran (yes, ran on foot) to Washington D.C. this summer to protest at the capitol. Many celebrities that support the cause ran alongside them and helped them on their march to Washington D.C. and New York City, which brought great awareness to the cause (talk about using your powers for good!). This past Saturday, the construction of the pipeline was set to start and the members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe stood at the work site in protest, while police officers armed with mace and attack dogs tortured them. The videos of people getting attacked by the dogs and getting sprayed with mace are horrific. They stood strong and proud though, and currently there has been a halt to the construction of the pipeline. Hopefully this means peace for the people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
If you would like to contribute to the cause, share this cause with someone, whether it be on social media or in person. Awareness is the first step. Also head on over to this website to sign the petition to stop the construction of the pipeline. It is not too late. Show your support in whatever way you can.
Hopefully this information was helpful to you in some regard, whether it opened your eyes to some amazing causes or just made you think about how you can give back more often. Remember that giving back can be as simple as sharing a cause with someone. Awareness is the first step. Go forth and bring about change!