TIU Girls’ Guide To Giving Back

Morning beautiful! With the holiday coming up, we’ve been talking a lot about everything we have to be grateful for. We feel so incredibly fortunate for all the blessings in our lives.

As a community, we have so much to give — with more than 2 million women on the TIU Team, we can really make a difference this holiday season.

We can share our time, our love, our positivity, and our kindness with the world. With some of the recent events that have hit close to home like the devastating fires in California, it reminds us more than ever that we are fortunate to have our loved ones and a roof over our heads.

If you’re wondering how you can help and give back during the holidays, we put together a give-back guide! It includes some of our favorite ways to volunteer our time and resources, whether it be through fitness, empowering young girls, helping moms and families in need, donating blood, and more!

We hold these causes close to our hearts 💗

Much love,

K&K

Empower girls through fitness

Here at TIU HQ, we’ve recently become involved with the amazing organization Girls on the Run. If you’re not familiar with Girls on the Run, it’s a nationwide program for girls in 3rd through 8th grade that combines fitness and educational lessons to empower girls. Over the course of the 10-week program, we visit a local elementary school. For the first part of the lesson, we talk about important topics, such as how to stop negative self-talk, the power of visualization, and how to own your unique qualities. Then, we all practice running or walking together. The program culminates in a 5K for all of LA county that we do together!

We are so honored to be involved with Girls on the Run! It’s so important to start educating and empowering girls from a younger age, and I wish I had access to a program like this when I was younger. When I was growing up, I participated in a running program and ran a half-marathon when I was 12. But the program didn’t include any of the emotional and empowerment lessons that Girls on the Run teaches. Later in my 20s, running helped me overcome a lot of self-doubt and fears, so I know the power of fitness to help transform your mindset. Teaching that to young women makes such an impact.

With every lesson, I could feel the girls soaking it in. My favorite was a lesson on visualization where we did a short group meditation. These girls have SO much energy, but for 10 minutes they all laid there with their eyes closed — and not a peep! I could see their peaceful smiles with their eyes closed. Afterward, they told me they felt so calm. They could feel the results of meditation and it was so special to share that!

I can’t say enough about this amazing program. If you want to get involved with Girls on the Run, you can learn more about the organization here!

tone it up girls guide to giving back charity thanksgiving

Adopt a family

Every year, we do this with our group of friends. We adopt a few families and have a wrapping party. Our friend Liz organizes it with a local hospice.

If you’re interested in doing this, we recommend looking at smaller, local organizations. You can start with a local hospice, children’s hospital, or a community center.

Give the gift of life

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. I started donating regularly when my mom became sick and needed transfusions, and I realized that there is a shortage. With just a few minutes of our time, we can truly save lives and that’s miraculous.

Volunteer in shelters and kitchens

You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, women’s shelter, or homeless shelter. It’s nice to choose a kitchen where the people living there work in the kitchen with you, so you can get to know them and connect. I’ve found that I share a similar past and story with some of the women and I am able to connect and share some inspiration one-on-one.

If you’re looking for a place to volunteer, the Homeless Shelter Directory has a list of soup kitchens across the country.

Raise awareness for a cause close to you

Everyone has a story they feel connected to, so it’s important to find something you feel personally passionate about.

 Kat has worked with Brain Tumor and Parkinson’s charities, as she’s lost loved ones to both and she just became involved in a couple mother charities (see below) as a new mama.

I’m working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness raising awareness to break the stigma of mental illness- which I feel connected to with my story.

Donate to children in need

Hey it’s Kat!

I want to share some of my personal favorite causes and ways to give back. Recently I discovered the incredible organization Baby 2 Baby, which provides low-income children with diapers, clothing, and all the basic necessities that every child deserves.  As a mama, I can’t imagine not being able to provide these things for Bella.

After the fires, I donated items on their baby registry and we just donated $5,000 to them after the California Fires. I believe so passionately in their mission, and we will be doing more with them soon. You can get involved by volunteering to create bundles filled with essentials for babies in need or by hosting a drive in your area.

Learn more about this incredible organization here.

I also love the International Rescue Committee, which helps refugees fleeing conflict and natural disasters. You can send a refugee mother a kit of essentials for her newborn.

I recently sent 20 moms newborn kits on behalf of all the TIU mamas!!

 

Clean out your closet

Every few months, I go through my closet and donate clothes and shoes. One of my favorite places to donate is the Downtown Women’s Center, an organization devoted to serving and empowering women who are trying to get back on their feet. Many of these women need clothes to get back into the workforce, so it’s great to look through your closet and donate any professional clothing you don’t wear anymore. You can look up women’s organizations and shelters near you with similar missions.

This weekend I also went through my closet to donate to those affected by the fires in Malibu. So many families sadly lost their homes and all of their belongings and need all the help we can provide.

Visit a local hospital

Call local hospitals to see if they need volunteers! You may need to start now, since they do background checks and interviews. Last year Brian and I were too late, so we went to Toys ‘R Us and donated a TON of toys to the Children’s Hospital in LA. We did this instead of doing gifts for one another. <3

Get crafty

If you’re like me and you love arts and crafts, make handmade cards for a local children’s hospital or nursing home. You can get a group of your girls together with some wine and art supplies 🎨

Give a pup some love

Spend an afternoon volunteering at a local animal shelter ~ find one near you here!

What are some of your favorite ways to give back? Share with the community in the comments and let’s all inspire each other to spread the L❤️VE!!!

COMMENTS 14

  1. This past weekend I helped out by assembling bikes for children for the local CHP Toy Drive. It was so much fun and I met so many big-hearted people. I found that opportunity just in my email inbox. Our city’s AAA baseball team does various community outreaches and so they sent out the call for volunteers. <3

  2. Karena– this makes me SO incredibly happy! You are such an incredible light in so many lives and I bet that the girls learned so much from you! I’m currently the Executive Director of Girls on the Run of Northeast Wisconsin and I was hooked from the first day I volunteered. Everything about this post makes me so happy!! Have the best time at the Celebration 5k! We had 432 girls complete the program with their Celebration 5k on 11/10 and it was the happiest morning! <3

    1. That’s so great to hear! We have all been having the best time with the girls and the most beautiful experience 💛

  3. Seeing this makes me love TIU even more! My little sister did Girls on the Run and had such a fun time. She always came home with a big smile on her face, already talking about going back the next day. Thank you for supporting this awesome organization!

    1. That’s so amazing that your sister loved Girls on the Run! We’re having the best time with all the girls! xxo

  4. My pup and I just passed our therapy dog certification test so we will be visiting local hospitals to spread some holiday cheer all season ❤️

    1. How wonderful! Dogs bring SO much joy to people!! I’m sure everyone you meet will be thrilled to give your pup some love and receive puppy kisses in return. <3

    2. My 6 year old grand daughter traveled from Texas to Boston Children’s Hospital for a special surgery that was developed by three doctors there. Although the surgery went very well, the next three days she was throwing up blood and bilious, although the 400+ other children that have been through this surgery never had this problem. The doctors wanted her to move around, but she was so weak and tired we could not get her to do anything, even crafts which she is very good at and loves doing. They have dog therapy there and upon learning how much she loves all animals, they had a therapy dog that was there for another floor that day (dogs visit different floors each day) stop by her room. It was amazing to see what a difference it made for her and how she lit up. She ended up being in the hospital three weeks, as opposed to the one week norm, and saw several dogs over the course of her stay. We are so appreciative to people and their pets for providing some light at a time when patients really do not feel very well or motivated. You will be well rewarded for your efforts, both here on earth and beyond. Thank you, again from a grateful grandmother.

    3. Please make sure you read my post. I thought I attached it to your post, but obviously it is not. I want you to know how much impact you will have on others and how grateful they will be.

  5. I love these ideas! I just checked out the GOTR website and will definitely be volunteering as a running buddy in the future! What a fun way to give your time and energy!! Every Christmas our family chooses a family in need and we bring them a few necessities and a few toys to help make their holiday a little bit brighter. I recently heard about Baby2Baby and that is definitely a cause close to my heart now that I have a baby of my own. Thank you for this post. I love that you’ve included so many ways to give back! I look forward to teaching our daughter how important it is to be grateful for what you have and to take the time to help those in need.

    1. That’s such a wonderful lesson to teach your daughter. Sending you and your family so much love! xxo

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