This week is the official National Volunteer Week. So, what does that mean to Generation-Y?
How and where we can give back not only this week, but beyond.
I began volunteering at a young age thanks to my time in boarding school, where I learned the importance of serving my community.
Volunteering is such a simple, yet highly impactful way to get involved in any charitable organization in your local community.
We, as Generation-Y, have a responsibility to give back, get involved and make a difference for the sake of humanity.
Whether through supporting a charity geared toward fighting poverty or contributing your time to a disease or wildlife conservation, this week is the week to be selfless.
If you want to get involved with a cause or charity this week, check out these six options below:
1. New York City Mission Society
I'm from New York City, and I can't think of a better charity to get involved with than the New York City Mission Society.
It is an incredible example of the fight to end poverty. At its annual Champions for Children benefit on April 1, it was able to raise an impressive $600,000.
The reason why I believe in the NYC Mission Society is because of its historically consistent dedication.
It is constantly at the forefront of the battle for the most basic human rights.
"We are deeply indebted to all those who have given countless hours and endless energy to planning this gala, because ultimately, we all recognize the need for more people to step forward to combat poverty," Gala Chair Jean Shafiroff said.
Poverty is unfortunately everywhere, but it is a battle that we can take on by becoming more involved in organizations like the NYC Mission Society.
To learn how you can get involved at the NYC Mission Society, click here.
2. Every Mother Counts
Living in America, we may take for granted the level of maternal medical care readily available to us.
Other mothers in third world countries are not as fortunate as we are, and they require a lot of assistance.
Recently, the founder of Every Mother Counts, Christy Turlington Burns, and TOMS founder, Blake Mycoskie, announced their partnership.
Burns and Mycoskie celebrated their collaboration by creating a Limited Edition Collection backpack and tote.
With every bag purchased, TOMS will help provide a safe birth for a mother and baby in need.
Additionally, with each purchase, $5 of the proceeds will go to support Every Mother Counts’ initiatives to ensure women access to proper maternal healthcare.
If you wish to get involved at home and abroad with similar causes, please click here to learn more.
3. Endometriosis Foundation of America
The Endometriosis Foundation of America is a great place to really get involved to take on a medical cause.
The nonprofit organization fights against endometriosis, a debilitating reproductive disease that affects one in 10 women of childbearing age in the United States.
The organization gladly welcomes volunteers to assist with different events, conferences or galas.
On April 13, they hosted their annual Blossom Ball to raise funds for medical research.
You can also get involved in their school-and-community-based program, where teens are able come together and talk openly about their personal struggles with endometriosis.
This type of opportunity is perfect for someone enrolled in medical school, as the organization works to make the medical community more aware of this disease while working on a cure and intervention to ultimately put it to an end.
Click here to learn how you can get involved as a volunteer.
4. Surgeons of Hope
Surgeons of Hope, established in 2002 in New York, is committed to bringing open heart surgery to children in the poorest countries of Latin America.
Surgeons of Hope rely heavily on the support of its medical volunteers, who are able to assist in the training of the different medical teams in Latin America.
This is one organization that gives volunteers the ultimate hands-on experience as well as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Last month, a gala hosted by New York philanthropists and benefactors Jean and Martin Shafiroff proved to be a resounding success that brought more awareness to this important cause.
If you are interested in volunteering on a future medical mission please click here.
5. American Heart Association
If you wish to help those who have heart problems closer to home, you can get involved with the American Heart Association.
I was able to see its support firsthand at the 19th Annual Hamptons Heart Ball event.
While it was just a preview leading up to a bigger fundraiser gala this summer in the Hamptons, it proved that we have many people in our own country who face heart issues.
The American Heart Association welcomes the time and energy of fresh volunteers to fight the battle against heart disease and stroke.
They have many opportunities across the country, so it's easy to find a location in your local community to get involved.
Fill out and submit the volunteer form by clicking here and remember, you are signing up to make a difference in someone's life.
6. The Xerces Society
We can't forget about our wildlife! Based out of Portland, Oregon, The Xerces Society is a non-profit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats.
As you may or may not know, bees are quickly becoming an endangered species, and their plight will have unbelievable and devastating effects on our environment.
Potentially $15 billion worth of crops could be lost in the US alone, as everything from cucumbers to avocados and asparagus cannot grow without the work of the honey bee.
Fashion brand J. Crew is even getting involved in the cause by presenting its new "Save The Bees" campaign, which is set to launch on Earth Day (April 22).
As part of its continued Garments for Good initiative, J.Crew has partnered with illustrator Donald Robertson (aka Drawbertson) to create its Save The Bees t-shirts.
Fifty percent of the retail price from the sales of these T-shirts will go toward helping the Xerces Society continue its amazing work.
The Xerces Society manages the largest pollinator conservation program in the world, working with farmers, gardeners, land managers, agency staff and others to create habitats for bees, which are currently becoming endangered.
If you wish to get involved and volunteer in this important cause please click here to learn more.
Whatever cause or organization is important to you, don't sit back and be passive this National Volunteer Week.
We have many ways to make a difference, get hand on and give back. We have the power.