Research has shown that practicing kindness and gratitude can actually make you happier. If you want to feel extra jolly this holiday season, the best way to do that is to give some of your joy away to others by taking Born This Way Foundation’s #MultiplyYourGood Challenge. #MultiplyYourGood is calling on you to make a difference by volunteering or donating (gently used items or money) to a nonprofit in your community. If you're not in the know, BTWF was founded by Lady Gaga and her mom Cynthia Germanotta, and is committed to empowering youth, inspiring bravery, and cultivating kindness. When you pledge to help others with BTWF, it creates a ripple effect of good that starts with you and spreads to people far and wide.
For every act of good you perform during the challenge, BTWF will multiply it by performing an act of good for one of its nonprofit partners. "Giving back doesn’t just help others, it can change the way that you feel about yourself and your ability to make a difference. Sometimes the challenges we face can feel overwhelming, but I want everyone to remember that we all have the power to do good in our communities — and that we can have the greatest impact when we work together," Germanotta, co-founder and president of Born This Way Foundation, said in a press release.
If you wanted to join the #MultiplyYourGood movement, take the challenge on the BTWF website. In fact, make it your commitment for Giving Tuesday on Nov. 27. Then, choose an organization that’s doing good and decide how you can help them by giving your time, money, or gently used items. Once you've taken the challenge and committed to your act of good, share it on social media with the hashtag #MultiplyYourGood and tag @btwfoundation on Twitter and Instagram.
If you need a little extra incentive, once you pledge you'll be entered to join the BTWF team in doing an act of good and to win tickets to Lady Gaga's Las Vegas residency at the Park MGM Theater. Need some inspo about an organization to donate to or volunteer with? The victims of the Camp and Woolsey fires in California can certainly use your help. While the Woolsey Fire is now 100-percent contained, the Camp Fire is not yet fully contained, more than 84 people have died, hundreds are missing, and thousands of people and their pets are homeless.
"We’re heartbroken by the devastation in California and we hope our community uses #MultiplyYourGood as an opportunity to help support those who have been impacted," Germanotta told Rolling Stone. "We hope that those taking part in California — and beyond — consider picking one of the amazing organizations working tirelessly to respond to the wildfires and to help communities recover in the weeks and months ahead."
Gaga was one of the more than 250,000 Southern California residents forced to evacuate due to the fast-moving Woolsey fire. She told Variety that her property sustained minimal damage, but others lost everything and not everyone has the means to rebuild. "I feel so bad for everyone. People losing everything. I am going to do more, do what I can," said Gaga, who, armed with food and supplies, visited two fire evacuation shelters in the past two weeks where she also encouraged fire victims to speak with Red Cross mental-health counselors. She then joined her lifelong best friend, chef Bo O'Connor, in bringing dinner to firefighters at a Hollywood, Calif., fire station.
In addition to donating to fire victims, BTWF created and shared a Google Doc of organizations on Twitter that you can peruse and add to. You can also #MultiplyYourGood locally. What inspires you in your community? Which organizations need the most help? What do you have too much of that someone else really needs? Even if you don't have any cash to spare, your time or gently used items are just as valuable. If you have a lot of items to donate, there are most likely organizations in your city or town that will come and pick them up.
If you feel like you have nothing to offer, it's not true. Kindness is something you can give away for free that creates big returns. Even if it feels small to you, it can make a significant difference to someone else, especially when it's multiplied by BTWF. The challenge, which is supported by Zappos, began on World Kindness Day and runs through Dec. 21. This means there's still plenty of time to #MultiplyYourGood, which in turn will multiply all the good feels coming your way this holiday season. What could be better than that?