I swear, it feels like I’ve tried giving up everything at some point or another for Lent — from candy to iced tea … beer to dairy, I’ve been there, done that. (And, yes, I used to drink *that much* iced tea that avoiding it for 40 days felt like a “sacrifice.”) However, after my Heart of Haiti trip, I realized that those “sacrifices” aren’t really sacrifices. I mean, there are thousands of people still living in tents, eating whatever they can get their hands on just to survive. Giving up candy? Not really a “hardship.” So, instead of giving up something for Lent, I’ve decided to make it my mission to connect with people who are adding good to this world. And, as any blogger would, I’m going to share a new connection with you each Sunday in hopes that we can all be inspired by their examples of doing well by doing good. The first “do-gooder” is Sloane Berrent, one of my fellow Heart of Haiti tripsters.
When I first received the list of women with whom I’d be traveling to Haiti, I was immediately intrigued by Sloane. After all, I blog at prTini and she blogs at Causemopolitan. Clearly, we were meant to cross paths! Plus, Sloane has an incredible background. She’s raised tons of money on behalf of nonprofits, toured the world, held a Kiva fellowship in rural Philippines, and worked on national campaigns that align with her commitment to “cause-filled living.” (You can read about Sloane’s background here and here.)
Sloane and I (along with fellow Haiti tripster Ananda Leeke) were the first three to depart Haiti to return to the US. We spent a couple hours in the car, hanging on as the car zipped around the mountainous curves from Jacmel to Port au Prince. During this time, the three of us got to know each other on a more personal level. It’s hard to convey the context of the conversations, but the sharing and opportunity to learn from Sloane and Ananda was remarkable. Truly inspiring. (In Haiti, there was a lot of talk about “Digital Sisterhood.” Here we were, this group of women, most of whom had never met, but we were brought together because of social media and a shared interest in telling the Haitians’ story. For me, those conversations in the car were the exact definition of this phrase.)
If you want to learn how cause-related marketing should work, check out Sloane’s work with Samsung and the Dan Marino Foundation, which raised over $100,000 in three days for autism. Also, I love the concept of one of her new projects, Help a Woman Out, which Sloane calls “a place on the web that would seem magazine-like. A place to flip through women’s organizations, inspirations quotes by women, events listings and job opportunities that would focus specifically on girls and women. All of this content would create a portal to Help A Woman Out.”
Just this week, Sloane announced that she’s joining Lippe Taylor in New York, a career move that will surely enable her to continue teaching companies and individuals alike about how to live a cause-filled life. I know I’m thankful for the opportunity to know Sloane. If you haven’t connected with Sloane yet, I hope you’ll seek her out online and check out what she’s doing. She’s truly a gem.
P.S. I have to give credit where credit is due. My mom has a weekly feature on her blog called Sunday Service, where she highlights various nonprofits and causes worth supporting. I’m borrowing the name of her series for my Lent-inspired posts. 🙂