*Give Back: This is part of a new series I’ll be doing regularly to spotlight organizations or causes you can be a part of. If you have a suggestion for something to highlight, shoot me an email at ericka.andersen@gmail.com. Let’s make a difference together. 

1. Foster the City

Some of you know I’ve been very interested in foster and care and adoption since I went to Congo last year. The issue has been weighing on my heart and I believe I’m meant to be a part of it in some way. What way is that? I’m not sure yet. What I do know is that there are thousands of children across this country that are in foster care — many in need of adoption as well.

I know there are not enough foster parents — especially enough good ones. I know that there are ton of older kids in foster care who have little hope of ever being adopted into a forever family. It’s heartbreaking. I’ve just finished reading a wonderfully written book —“To the End of June” — delving into the foster care industry in the U.S. — and it really moved me. These children — living in your own city — need you.

The book comes on the heels of a wonderful event in Washington, DC this weekend called “Foster the City.” I encourage anyone and everyone in the DC-area to consider coming and learning about how you can help the children of DC. It doesn’t mean you have to be a foster parent — there are many ways to help out — and there are so many needs. There will be free childcare all day and the event includes speakers and discussions on all aspects of foster care and adoption in the DC-area. Its’ free. I hope you will consider joining to hear more about how you can help. I’ll be there.

2. Back on My Feet American Express #PassionProject

I was SO excited to see the crew I run with at Back on My Feet in this very cool new ad from American Express. AmEx is doing a new campaign called the “Passion Project” where they feature organizations and people living out their passions for good. How cool that BoMF founder Anne Mahlum was chosen to be a part of it? Even cooler — the ad features the members of my group from Clean & Sober Streets (CSS) in DC.

Me with Larry, a BoMF member I’ve been friends with & run with from the start. He’s still running — and doing awesome. He credits BoMF with helping him stay that way!

It makes me so proud to see them in this video. Every time I wake up at 5am to head to CSS for a run, it’s hard but the getting up early is erased when I get 10 hugs and smiles truly happy to see me there. Running can be the catalyst that changes someone’s entire life. I believe that. For those that haven’t yet gotten involved with BoMF, I encourage you to sign up and help make a difference in someone’s life. Also, you’ll make new friends and gain some real perspective about people and life. Here’s the ad:

3. Redeeming Grounds Coffee

Like coffee? Then listen up. This new organization is one awesome way you can give back and get your caffeine fix — and it was started by a friend of mine. What happens when Colombian cocaine growers become Christians and no longer want to be a part of the drug business? They need a way to make money — and one way they can do that is buy growing and selling coffee beans.

After two years of waiting for the resources to come through, they are now ready to sell. Redeeming Grounds is helping empower these men for good, in the name of Christ. 100% of the earnings go back to the communities and others to leverage efforts and spark new ones. The goal? The equip more coffee growers with transformative resources! They plan to add coffee offerings from Africa, Asia and Central America. More buying means more empowerment for these communities who have shunned the drug lifestyle.

You can start helping by liking the Redeeming Grounds Facebook page & help them spread the message.

What causes are you passionate about? 
What makes you want to “give back” to others? 

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