Charity doesn’t have a special time of year. Helping is something we do all year round. However it is the festive season which is typically associated with giving, helping and reaching out to charities. We have found six inspiring books that open our eyes and hearts, and that gently nudge us towards a more charitable approach to daily lives. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have.
A Repurposed Life by Ronni Kahn
There’s a constant sense of shame that eats away at you, making you feel that you’re just not good enough. Some people are so poor that they can’t even afford to feel shame. Ronni Kahn, through her work with OzHarvest, does the very thing that offers hope to those in the poverty trap: restore dignity and remove shame. This is her story. Life throws us mysterious ingredients. If we are brave enough to put the recipe aside and experiment, it’s right there that things get interesting. As the owner of a successful events company, throwing away huge volumes of leftover food at the end of the day came with the territory. But when Ronni Kahn hit midlife, she found herself no longer able to turn a blind eye to her food waste problem. Hand delivering the untouched food to homeless shelters around Sydney became her renegade solution. Little did she know that fixing her small problem at work would lead her to unlock a hidden purpose at the very core of her inner life. Now founder and CEO of the food rescue organisation OzHarvest, Ronni leads hundreds of staff and thousands of volunteers with the goal to nourish Australia. She serves in an advisory capacity to government and is an instrumental leader in changing federal laws to improve social justice and environmental policies. A Repurposed Life is the story of how Ronni found her voice, her heart and her deepest calling. From her early years growing up under the brutal system of apartheid South Africa, to a socialist commune in Israel, Ronni finally settled in Australia to discover a profound new way of living. Shared with the humour, warmth and energy that have made her an internationally renowned keynote speaker, this heartfelt exploration of the choices that define us will speak to anyone seeking a more passionate expression of being alive.
Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
Blake Mycoskie is the founder of TOMS Shoes and a contestant on The Amazing Race. Mycoskie uses his experience with TOMS, as well as interviews with leaders of non-profits and corporations, to convey valuable lessons about entrepreneurship, transparency of leadership, and living by one’s values. This book displays the transformation from a businessperson to an advocate, in an account that outlines his philosophy about working in ways that both fulfils material desires and have philanthropic and social benefits.
How We Give Now: A Philanthropic Guide for the Rest of Us by Lucy Bernholz
From Go Fund Me to philanthropy – the everyday ways that we can give our money, our time, and even our data to help our communities and seek justice.
In How We Give Now, Lucy Bernholz shows that philanthropy is more than writing a cheque and claiming a tax deduction. For most of us, the non-wealthy givers, philanthropy can be a way of living our values and fully participating in society. We give in all kinds of ways; shopping at certain businesses, canvassing for candidates, donating money, and making conscious choices with our retirement funds. We give our cash, our time, and even our data to make the world a better place. Bernholz takes readers on a tour of the often-overlooked worlds of participatory philanthropy, learning from a diverse group of forty resourceful givers.
Giving is a form of participation. Philanthropy by the rest of us, across geographies and cultural traditions, begins with and builds on active commitment to our communities.
Amid political, social, and environmental anxieties, the need for humour, hope, and meaningful action has never been greater. Hope Is a Verb is the beautifully simple solution for not only how to create change but how to stay sane while doing it.
Through this creative guidebook, readers will work to live in alignment with their values, examine their relationships with the planet and their community, and be inspired to act, both in their personal life and collectively. Emily Ehlers, creator of the cult favourite Instagram account @ecowithem, offers a six-step process that reframes the current global mood as an invitation to realise change, rather than dwell in despair.
Using her experience as an environmental activist, Ehlers offers ways for readers to change their perspective as a path to overcome challenges. A light in a dark place, a friend when you’re feeling alone, a roadmap out of overwhelming situations, for those feeling less than secure and safe, Hope Is a Verb points to a world of opportunity and stability that’s achievable and surprisingly simple.
When you’re on the fringes of society, being noticed can mean everything.
In 2015, while working at a London hair salon, Joshua Coombes took to the streets with his scissors to build relationships with people sleeping rough in the capital. This inspired him to begin posting transformative images on social media to amplify their voices. These stories resonated and thousands of people got involved in their own way. #DoSomethingForNothing was born, a movement that encourages people to connect their skills and time to those who need it. Via the simple act of a haircut, readers are taken on a geographical and emotional journey into the lives of humans experiencing homelessness in different cities across the world.
Featuring never-before-seen photographs and all-new writing, Do Something for Nothing explores themes of love, acceptance, shame, and perseverance, while inviting us to see ourselves in one another and dissolve the negative stigmas surrounding homelessness.
How do we vote with our dollars, not just to make ourselves feel good, but to make a real difference?
Wallet Activism challenges you to rethink your financial power so you can feel confident spending, earning, and saving money in ways that align with your values. The greatest power we have -especially when political leaders won’t move quickly enough- is how we use our money: where we shop, what we buy, where we live, what institutions we entrust with our money, who we work for, and where we donate determines the trajectory of our society and our planet. While our votes and voices are essential, too, Wallet Activism helps you use your money for real impact.
It can feel overwhelming to determine “the right way” to spend: a choice that might seem beneficial to the environment may have unintended consequences that hurt people. And marketers are constantly lying to you, making it hard to know what choice is best. Wallet Activism empowers us to vote with our wallets by making sense of all the information coming at us, and teaching us to cultivate a more holistic mindset that considers the complex, interrelated ecosystems of people and the planet together, not as opposing forces.