As millions of people across the world remain in quarantine, isolation continues to potentially impact our collective mental health and self-perception.
We are inherently social creatures that rely on interaction and togetherness to thrive and we are negatively affected by a loss of community. However, we can remain connected to the communities we were a part of prior to the pandemic through small pivots – gaining a new sense of meaning by joining new communities.
Joey Horn, Managing Director of Oak Management AS and avid philanthropist, discusses with us the benefits of engaging in philanthropic ventures during the pandemic. From making an impact on the lives of others, to building new meaningful relationships, philanthropic engagements can be critical in fostering a sense of community during a crisis.
Sharing Your Passions With Future Generations
As a firm believer in the transformative power of music education within the school system, Joey Horn has been actively involved with Restore The Music UK. Founded in 2011, this charity provides private funding to schools in need, providing professional quality musical instruments and tuition for the school to maintain a robust music education program. The program aims to nurture talent, raise awareness and interest in music, and to foster personal success. For music lovers, sharing your passions with future generations is an excellent way to provide assistance to important causes and to ensure that future generations of students receive the opportunity to share in the same activities that give you joy.
Restore The Music UK is highly interactive, leveraging the power of music to create content for its supporters, including community members and other interested parties. The organization creates student success films that allow patrons to feel connected to the cause throughout the pandemic. Chairing the committee for Restore The Music’s 2019 Gala Fundraiser, Horn worked alongside other members of the organization to successfully put on the charity’s important annual funding event. As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gala has been cancelled for 2020, but a dedicated donation page exists to assist in fundraising efforts.
Social Volunteering From Home
Many charities host social events to raise awareness for their causes, to increase visibility and to raise funding for their needs. Undoubtedly, participation in these social events breeds a community spirit and with many in-person events rescheduled or cancelled to adhere to social distancing rules and prevent the spread of COVID-19, innovative charities are finding ways to volunteer from home. Through active participation in digital volunteer opportunities, you can foster a sense of community with other volunteers and supporters of other worthy causes.
Involved with Cancer Research UK, Horn points out the organization’s shift to digital volunteer methods throughout the pandemic. While the organization regularly accepts volunteers for a myriad of in-person opportunities, these opportunities have pivoted to a digital model. To support the charity’s life-saving research and cancer treatment goals, Horn suggests partaking in one of the organization’s digital volunteer opportunities. In light of the growing popularity of video calls for bonding with friends, family, and loved ones, the organization has created a digital quiz named The Big Quiz for Cancer Research UK. Volunteers can find all of the needed materials online for a video call that marries fun, communication and safety awareness. Additionally, Joey Horn points to the organization’s e-campaigner option, which allows interested parties to participate in digital letter writing campaigns, awareness building, and other digitally based activities to share your voice, alongside a dedicated community of thousands of other volunteers.
In the spirit of raising awareness for a cause that’s near to your heart and bringing like-minded people together to share in your goal, many charities are welcoming personalized fundraising options and are inviting innovative involvement from interested parties. This ability to simultaneously help an important cause, organize a digitally based event, and participate in a communicative opportunity with a group of people is an excellent way to feel connected during self-isolation.
A long-time supporter of Mothers2Mothers, Joey discussed with this publication how the organization was initially created to end Africa’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. Mothers2Mothers works alongside communities to provide education, resource, and training to opportunities to support needy women and children.
The organization employs women living with HIV as Mentor Mothers, working within the healthcare settings to provide mentorship, education, and support to local communities. They provide life-saving resources to women and children, creating a cycle of increased wellbeing, health, and opportunity.
Horn points out that the organization traditionally employs multiple social methods for raising funding and awareness, including many physical activities, like group runs, bike rides, and parties. Additionally, the group’s fundraising options also consider a “Create Your Own” philanthropic venture option.
This allows interested patrons the freedom to create their own activities that will benefit the organization. Members are suggesting dedicating virtual weddings, birthday parties or baby showers to the cause or hosting a virtual charity Bingo tournament. Through social media marketing, you can get involved as the creator of a virtual event and bring together a community of people dedicated to the same outcome. Through the pursuit of these charitable ventures, you can feel connected to others, recognize your ability to create tangible change in a time of need, and uplift communities through commitment to a common cause.