It can be overwhelming to think about the problems that affect our world. Naturally, we want to help. But there are so many issues that we care about, so many people who need support, that a desire to do good can actually make you feel like shutting down. “Can I even make a difference?” we wonder. “Can I help create change in just a few hours a month?”
That kind of thinking can keep you from joining a movement and block your desire to do good. It makes it easy for you to ignore your potential impact. Which is why this month, UPROXX and Honda have joined forces to highlight people who started small and are now building something big. We call it “Travelanthropy” — a chance to make an impact while on an adventure and experience the world while doing good. These bold souls prove that it’s easier than you think to close the gap between wanting to help and changing the world.
Just check out Ajay Relan, the cofounder of #HashtagLunchbag. He started by making a few meals with friends for the homeless population in Venice Beach on Christmas. Now, the group is in over 100 cities. It’s one of #HastagLunchbag’s philosophies: Just do something small and change your perspective, it might inspire more people than you ever thought it could.
“We always say, from a ripple to a wave,” Relan says.
Sometimes starting a wave of change is as simple as recognizing the work of others and sharing their passion with those you know. Jordan Kahana, an animal rights activist, explains, “It’s really important to spread awareness for the people doing great work.” It encourages the people whose work you acknowledge to keep going, it brings to light an issue that others may not know about, and it helps people who are looking to contribute money or time pick a specific group to give to.
Meaning: if you are passionate about an organization — like Kahana is about Compassion Without Borders, a rescue group that matches stray dogs from Mexico with families in the states — you should spread the word.
“How cool would it be if we used social media to inspire and motivate people to simply care about other people,” Ricky Smith, founder of RAKE (Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere), notes. Smith’s whole organization is based around doing the little things whenever we can. He’s proof that inspiration to do good can come from anywhere. Because like Smith, inspiration could be from deciding to use the last dregs of your bank account to pass out pizza to those in need. Or it could be from a video you see, that makes you realize, “Oh, I can do that. I can donate a pair of shoes or pack a lunch.”
Check out each of the Travelanthropy stories below to find out more about the work they do, and also, how you too can join in on the movement. It’s always the right time to start doing good things in the world.