In the short amount of time that I have been working at YouCaring, I have learned a lot about what it means to embody compassion. For a company centered on compassionate crowdfunding, YouCaring truly practices what they preach by encouraging all employees to engage in giving back and providing the opportunities to do so.
Learning to Unleash Compassion
Compassion is more than just giving. For me, compassion means recognizing needs, sympathizing and then responding to those needs generously. As a YouCaring Student Ambassador, I have had the opportunity to showcase my compassion in a multitude of ways. So far I have created a fundraising campaign for a local nonprofit, organized a successful offline fundraising event, volunteered at local nonprofits, interviewed interesting people and completed general compassionate acts across the city of San Francisco, and that’s just the beginning. The best part of the process is that I get to exercise my creativity with each compassionate act I complete.
The Chronicles of a Student Ambassador
Lets go back about five months. Picture me on my first week at work, eager to please and excited to learn. Something special happened on that first week: YouCaring let me host an art exhibition in their gallery as a fundraising event. At the time I was working with local San Francisco nonprofit called the Faithful Fools, and they put me in contact with an artist named Duke, who embodies the city and its treasures. With Duke’s help and generosity we put together an amazing gallery event with all proceeds being donated to another local San Francisco nonprofit. Duke ended up selling one of the paintings and donated a portion of the proceeds to my campaign. This was my first taste of unleashing compassion.
A Summertime Commpassion Initiative
Over the summer many employees, including myself, engaged in a compassion initiative. We were given the opportunity to participate in meaningful acts of compassion throughout the city. This ranged from volunteering as a large group at the Alameda County Community Food Bank to a few of us leaving the office for a few hours to help clean up the beach at Crissy Field. We brainstormed acts of compassion that we believed to be meaningful and thoughtful like writing letters to the troops or handing out flowers to strangers in the park. YouCaring even gave me the opportunity to meet and interview Melanie Nathan on their behalf. Melanie is a human rights advocate who fights for LGBTI rights in Africa and is the executive director the nonprofit the African Human Rights Coalition. As a student from a university that is grounded in social justice, I was interested in equality-related issues, especially since the Supreme Court had just ruled that same sex marriage was legal. Getting the chance to pick Melanie’s brain about the joy of the recent legalization of same sex marriage in the U.S. juxtaposed with the harsh conditions that the LGBTI community in Africa faces was eye-opening. In fact, our summertime compassion initiative was eye-opening in itself. I have read all of those studies that prove that giving makes you happy, but it wasn’t until I was engaged in my community through these acts of compassion that I began to understand why. Giving just feels good.
Join the Movement
As a YouCaring Student Ambassador, I get to learn in the classroom, in the office and out in the world. With some meaningful experiences already under my belt, I am looking forward to seeing what comes next. I have learned that being compassionate keeps me grounded in my values by reminding me to empathize and rewarding me spiritually for giving back to others. I encourage you all to unleash your compassion and join the YouCaring Ambassador movement.