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Stop Feeling Guilty

1 Nov

As of this post, Catchafire’s NY headquarters are still without power. Nevertheless, we’re all back at work, albeit remotely, alone in our apartments, or in coffee shops, on our cell phones and laptops with spotty service.

Or in some lucky cases, small clusters: a few of our colleagues who live near each other have been meeting at designated apartments to work together. It feels better that way; we all need community right now and we all need to keep working.

Catchafire itinerant office set ups in Upper West Side and Prospect Heights

We’ve been hearing some folks say they don’t know what to do, they feel helpless. We say: cut that out. There’s plenty. Today and when the dust settles.

Right now:

  • Follow Hope Mob CEO @ShaunKing  and @Hope on Twitter. He is a clearinghouse of immediate needs that he live tweets, solving various crises as soon as he hears about them. He encourages people in need to email him directly at shaun@hopemob.org.
  • Donate your time by registering to join disaster relief volunteers. Here are some great organizations in Catchafire’s community of social good organizations that are accepting applications now: Long Island Volunteer Center, All Hands Volunteers, World Cares Center and The Bowery Mission.
  • Get involved with local evacuation centers; many are in serious need of volunteers. HillSongNYC also provides a comprehensive list of shelters that need desperate help.
  • Donate blood. Sandy forced many blood drives to cancel, leaving hospitals with a limited blood supply and the need is great. Find a location near you to donate.
  • Donate clothing. Take a quick look through your closet, grab items that have been sitting there unworn for a year and share them with someone in need. It’s getting cold now and many are displaced from their homes.
  • Donate food to local food banks.
  • Check in with the Red Cross, as always.

When the dust settles:

We’ve been writing and calling to check in with our Community of close by Non-Profits, to hear how they’re doing. Like us, they’re scrambling to get back on their feet, so they can get back to the uninterrupted business of their missions — their very reason for being. This post from our friends at All Hands Volunteers says it well.

Of course we all want to help them. Isn’t that what always happens in a crisis? The floodgates of feeling and generosity open. Let’s not allow the lessons of Hurricane Sandy to blow away when life is back to normal. We have the golden opportunity right now, for a permanent shift, toward service-centric lives embedded in our DNA.

As our CEO Rachael Chong said: we have the luxury to make a difference, the luxury to give back, and the luxury to do meaningful work. I refuse to take this for granted. I will take advantage of and LOVE every luxurious day. Please someone slap me if I don’t.”

So, keep checking back with us and with our amazing community of Social Good Organizations to see what they need, shop around on the Open Projects page. Apply to put your amazing skills and talent to work today. Go ahead — be selfish and give.

We’ll be posting more opportunities on Facebook and Twitter as they arise. You do it too: post on our wall and in the comments of this blog.

Let’s keep this going…

Announcing Virtual Pro Bono!

7 Sep

 Make An Impact
From Anywhere

September 2011 is a big month for Catchafire – we have gone national with talent by activating virtual pro bono for the first time! Until recently, only pro bono professionals based in the greater NYC area could give what they’re good at but now, professionals can give their skills pro bono from anywhere in the United States.

All registered pro bono professionals will now begin to receive suggested projects based on their nominated cause interests and skills. Visit your dashboard to update your skills and causes interests, or begin applying to projects today!

Here are just a few benefits of opening our opportunities to professionals nationwide:

  • More options for organizations thanks to project applications from both virtual and local professionals
  • Access to a larger pool of talent to help organizations build capacity
  • Greater exposure for organizations as, from coast to coast, more professionals will now hear about an organization’s important work

“The move to virtual pro bono is possible now that we can provide our organizations and professionals with just as good an experience virtually as we can in person,” says Catchafire CEO Rachael Chong. “We have all the pieces in place to make a virtual project just as successful as a project where the professional and organization can meet in person. We want to provide our organizations with as much choice as possible in terms of talent, and allow highly skilled professionals from anywhere in the United States to give what they’re good at to an organization they are passionate about!”

To learn more about virtual pro bono, visit our Pro Bono Best Practices or read more about How Matches Are Made.

What do YOU think of virtual pro bono?
Post your comments below!

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