It sounds simple, but when you support women’s charities you do more than just provide resources. Studies show there are soulful benefits for both parties and xeven boosts to your physical health!
Celebrate Women and Bless Everyone Around You
While many Americans look forward to the arrival of spring, the month of March has other notable arrivals. The importance of celebrating women is a major theme, with reminders to focus on females through various festivals and “holidays.” March is “International Women’s Month,” which brings a host of events to the community calendar, including “Women in History” presentations, girls’ night out functions, and awards presentations for programs that inspire females of all ages.
Women’s Month activities serve another purpose: They provide opportunities for women to support each other, which experts say is a major contributor to the health of everyone involved.
An article in Entity Magazine talks about the advantages of female mutual support.
“Creating and maintaining good quality social connections is actually as good for our physical health as regular exercise,” says Olga Levancuka, a life coach and author of self-help book “How to Be Selfish.”
UCLA did a landmark study concluding that women enduring stressful situations experience chemical changes in the brain that improve their ability to galvanize and maintain their friendships. Instead of “fight, flight or freeze,” women will “tend or befriend” due to oxytocin in their system, and the lower level of stress often results in longer lifespans.
And even more importantly, while they’re living longer they’re staying healthier, Levancuka says. She takes an example from history, comparing experiences between men and women following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The death rate among men in Eastern Europe had risen by 40% during the Cold War which UCLA psychology professor Shelley Taylor explains is due to the fact that women have stronger social foundations than men, so they fare better in negotiating challenging circumstances.
Research shows that when women have these kinds of networks, they:
• Live 22 percent longer than their isolated counterparts
• Have a lower risk of dying from breast cancer
• Are more likely to participate in sports and receive a number of mental and physical health benefits of athletics
Even the so-called “mean girls” experiences have positive outcomes, says Jaimie Krems, an Arizona State University graduate research assistant with a focus on female sociality.
They “better process information about their social networks [and] more adeptly navigate their social landscape,” Krems says. Basically, the more friends you have, the more “in the know” you’ll be ... which could keep you from making a faux pas like asking Andrea how her husband is doing when everyone else knows they’re getting a divorce.
Research shows that when you are socially savvy enough to form even just one friendship in the workplace, you significantly reduce any gossip that’s created and perpetuated about you. It makes a difference in a female-dominated office environment.
While those scenarios may not sound complimentary, there are many, many other examples of women celebrating women. According to Krems, females are great when it comes to cooperative parenting. It’s explained, in part, by early, primitive reasoning. From foraging to survival, there’s a great benefit to females having older friends.
Turning to someone who is a stage ahead of you is a way to garner an empathetic ear and even have physical resources handed down. In the case of low-income families, this form of cooperative mothering can be a life-saver.
The emotional support that female friendships give each other is notable when compared to male relationships. While men typically socialize around a shared experience stemming from a common interest, women are more emotionally supportive of one another. Communicating worries and other feelings comes more naturally to women.
Support Charities During Women’s Month
International Women’s Month is a good time to contribute to a cause that benefits females. If you already work with a 501(c)(3) like PTA or Rainbow Girls, then the decision’s easy. But if you want to send resources to other charities supporting women, you have many to choose from.
Single Mothers Outreach
There is little that’s as powerful in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in society as supporting women’s charities like Single Mothers Outreach. Located in Santa Clarita, California, SMO was established in 1995, bringing resources to women who find themselves in a position where they’re raising kids by themselves.
The nonprofit organization’s mission is “to empower single parents and their children by providing hope, support, and resources so families can become self-sustaining and thrive.” Their work involves helping single parents find jobs, get necessary psychological and emotional support, providing education and managing finances.
“Because we believe that effective parenting leads to successful, well-adjusted children, Single Mothers Outreach scaffolds families facing sudden housing instability, income loss, emotional trauma, and social deterioration as the result of divorce, abandonment, or widowhood,” the website says.
Not only is celebrating women a daily part of the organization’s work, it also brings moms together – to help each other with their shared challenges.
In addition to cash donations, you can contribute to their work in other practical ways. SMO always needs:
• Nonperishable foods
And for individuals who don’t have excess cash, when they replace their vehicle they can make a car donation to Single Mothers Outreach. While it seems like a small thing, the value of the car, truck or RV you don’t need can strengthen a home, a family and a community.
Walnut Avenue Family and Women’s Center
Santa Cruz families in need of income, supplies and emotional assistance have an
advocate in the Walnut Avenue Family and Women’s Center, and in far-reaching capacities.
Services for Survivors of Domestic Violence: The Advocacy & Prevention Department of the Walnut Avenue Family and Women’s Center has programs in place for both victims of violence and their children. Their mission is to eliminate violence through safety, healing, individual empowerment and social change.
When you support women’s charities like Walnut Avenue you are providing resources such as:
• Domestic Violence Support Services
• Safety Planning
• DV and the LGBTQ Community
• Domestic Violence Restraining Order Information
A lot of the nonprofit’s work is instructional. Children can not only gain safer housing options, the Center provides early childhood education.
Adults can become more informed about the experiences of children who grow up in homes where there’s domestic violence, including the effects on kids specifically according to age. Experts use instructional tools such as a “Child Abuse Wheel” and a “Healthy Parenting Wheel” to increase understanding.
Women who have trouble escaping cycles of abuse can learn how to form healthier relationships through programs and support groups. They’re taught warning signs of an abuser and obtain information about their rights.
Also, all resources are available in Spanish.
The Walnut Avenue Center has a 22-hour hotline for victims, so volunteers can get help to clients as quickly as possible. Crisis intervention advocates go through a certification process and become trained DV Peer Counselors.
Gifting a charity such as Walnut Avenue is a way to keep these types of programs running, so you celebrate women and also help kids out of violent situations, which is the best way to stop cycles of abuse.
You gain a tax write-off if you donate money to the organization or donate a car to Walnut Avenue Family and Women’s Center.
Approximately half of women have, at some point in their lives, been involved in the Girl Scouts. There are about 60 million adult alumnae of Girl Scouting.
And according to research by the Girl Scout Research Institute, the experience has many positive life outcomes.
Females who spend time in Scouting show a greater degree of success in:
• Volunteerism/community involvement
• Sense of self
• Civic involvement
Most alumnae rate their memories of involvement in a Scout troop in positive terms and rank the experience at high levels and nearly 20% reconnect with Scouting later in life. Among the benefits they cite are having a safe place to connect with others and exposure to nature.
“Girl Scouts helps girls develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others,” says the Girl Scouts website.
The scope of International Women’s Month is extremely compatible with this organization’s goals, as Scouting has grown to include girls across the globe.
More than 22,000 girls experience new adventures every single day and form lifelong friendships. They pride themselves on teamwork, friendship, and community, which are the types of qualities we focus on when celebrating women.
Some of the organization’s activities are hands-on projects relating to science, technology, life skills, and outdoor training. Leaders are flexible enough to adapt to growing changes in culture, while offering the benefits Girl Scouting has produced in its 100-year history.
The monetary resources you add to the nonprofit is tax-deductible and can go to the international organization or to your local chapter. A vehicle you no longer need can be turned into cash for their work as well. When you donate a car to the Girl Scouts, you solve your own problem of moving your car in a simple fashion and adding to the experience of girls at all ages.
College Area Pregnancy Service
Celebrating women – society’s youngest female adults – is what the College Area Pregnancy Service aims to accomplish. The San Diego-based nonprofit opens clinics near college campuses to provide early medical assistance and peer counseling to those who are facing an unwanted pregnancy.
Licensed in the state of California, CAPS is accredited to meet standards of care that provide sensitive, confidential assistance to young women at a pivotal time. All services are free.
Those pregnancy services include:
• Low-cost/no-cost STI/STD testing
• Pregnancy Testing
• Post-abortion support
Donors to CAPS are individuals who want to support women’s charities that set standards for the level of care they’re giving females. The College Area Pregnancy Service educates and supports women who are in some stage of the pregnancy process – either newly pregnant or in need of prenatal support or following an abortion procedure. Part of that care includes support groups and interventions for women.
According to the CAPS website, the nonprofit’s commitment includes:
• Serving clients without regard to age, race, income, nationality, religious affiliation, disability or other arbitrary circumstances.
• Treating clients with kindness, compassion and in a caring manner.
• Receiving clients with honest and open answers.
• Providing information with strict and absolute confidence according to HIPAA guidelines.
• Giving clients accurate information about pregnancy, fetal development, lifestyle issues, and related concerns.
You can donate a car to College Area Pregnancy Services through Cars2Charities.
Celebrate Women with a Car Donation
If you own a car, you know the signs. You spend more time at the auto repair shop than you do at work. Or you find knobs falling off and see a few rips in the seats, which makes you salivate when you pass an auto dealer.
It’s a fact of American life that we sometimes need to replace our cars. The good news is there’s a very simple method to turn the value of your car into money for a cause.
International Women’s Month is a symbolic time to make a car donation to women’s causes – and there are thousands to choose from. Because the lives of females are so complex, you can typically find a nonprofit that benefits them in whatever need you can imagine.
At times in your life when you can’t offer elbow grease to a nonprofit, you can still reap that good feeling you get when you support women’s charities with a donation, either a vehicle or cash. And as research shows, you’ll feel even better when you join forces with fellow females.