What cause do you advocate for? A funny question, right?
After my ostomy surgery, that was a no brainer. I consider myself a friendly, funny person with a strong mental capacity to be positive. However, dealing with Crohn’s disease for fifteen years it had never occurred to me to join a Crohn’s support group. I knew I had Crohn’s and knew that it affected me on an annual basis, sometimes more. But the thought of going out for a support walk, donating money to aid in the fight was never something that I applied myself to do. It wasn’t until I was saddled with an ostomy pouch that the road to advocate seemed crystal clear, and with the launch of Awestomy I became “fashionably late to advocate”.
You might be interested to know that when we started Awestomy and began selling ostomy undergarments and wraps that we initially wanted to have a non-profit branch as well. We wanted to offer a portion of profits to give ostomy supplies to those in need. After doing research we found all of these great ostomy and bowel related organizations and decided we didn’t want to be another cook in this ever growing kitchen. Instead we chose to support those folks already doing great work. This is why we started the Give A Sh*t program.
Fighting For Dollars
Everywhere you look right now there are causes asking for money. Some companies like Sevenly and Tom’s Shoes mix in trends with charities so that purchases benefit both the cause and the consumer. It can be hard as a non-profit to make your voice heard with so many popular picks and those with the budgets to get out in front of a large portion of the population. With so many causes to support it leaves a small pool of money for the multitude of non-profits requesting funds. No matter how many you want to support most times there aren’t the dollars in your pocket to donate. The best advice I have is to find something that matters to you, that has affected your life and devote what you can to that cause. Whether that be money you’re able to give, or the ability to volunteer your time and effort.
Why Advocate At All
When I began connecting to ostomy support groups both online and offline, it was a breath of fresh air. Meeting new people that wanted to get to know you as well as share their triumphs & tragedies is a real special bond. You meet new people, have new adventures, all under the umbrella of fighting the good fight for the cause you support.
What If I Don’t Have Money To Advocate
Even if you can’t advocate monetarily you can still be someone that can lend an ear for someone else to talk to and just listen. If you’re going through something similar it allows other to feel more comfortable opening up. You could devote 1% of your time (20 hours) this year with this website. Utilizing your time and skills to advocate makes that light in your heart shine a little brighter.
I tend to get a lot of my news through the TV show “Sunday Morning”. Mostly I enjoy it because it gives me factoids to share with my co-workers, but it’s also one of the more positive and uplifting news shows I watch. In a recent episode they profiled Nick Vujicic, a man born without arms and legs. His disability hasn’t deterred him from becoming a powerful motivational speaker and author. He stated in his vignette that his goal each night is just to touch one person. This is what I’d encourage you to do when deciding to advocate. You never know who you may touch or encourage and how they may encourage others.
As the old country song goes, “You gotta stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.” I hope this motivates you to advocate for any cause that you’ve been putting off.