As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
— Audrey Hepburn
What does it mean to be a strong woman?
The greatest women of our generation are not just known for their talent or affluence. They are known for the impact they have. They are known to have built themselves up to a point where they can give back as much as they took from the world. Of course, the priority is yourself, your mind, body and soul. EBY will always, and has always, been an advocate for self care and self love. But what comes next? What do we do after we’ve built ourselves up? After all the meditation, at home workouts, learning paths through our mental health, building friendships, hoisting our career on its legs, what do we do in between those moments? The first step is to realize we are never alone nor could we ever have done all of this by ourselves. We’ve needed our families, friends and communities of other women striving for the same greatness to help us along the way. To be memorable, to be a part of something greater than yourself, means you have to acknowledge all the shoulders you stand upon. To be something greater means to add strength to someone else’s life. Let’s be strong enough to lift each other up. In those moments where we feel full, let’s pour some in other cups.
How do we become great? By helping others become better.
In Forbes roundup of the most powerful women of 2019, the commonality is how they yield their influence. We don’t have to be Oprah or Melinda Gates to have an impact on our community. We don’t have to be billionaires or the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (shoutout to Mrs. Pelosi) to help those around us. The biggest changes happen in small steps, steps that are made with honesty, love and good intention.
How can we honor those shoulders that we stand on?
Volunteering and giving back to the communities that built us is not one sided. We are not saviors. We are just encouraging a new generation of women to join us and, if we’re lucky, do more than us.
How can we give back?
Power Tip 1: Mentoring
There will always be young women looking up at us. Let’s bridge the gap between who they are and who they want to be. We have that in our power because we’ve been through all of it. We’ve gone through the trials and tribulations to achieve our dreams. Our duty, then, becomes to wear down that path to success with wisdom. Let’s share our maps so that girls can follow suit and go farther than we could have. Becoming a mentor is not just a favor for your mentee. Learning how to work with people boosts your emotional intelligence, your leadership skills, and your patience. Helping those around us, especially those excited to learn, helps you practice patience, helps you reaffirm your own skills and knowledge and helps you acquire a new perspective grounded in a different generation. According to a Microsystems study conducted between 2010 to 2015 of 1000 employees,people who had acted as mentors were six times more likely to be promoted than those who didn’t, and 20% more likely to get a raise because of these exact benefits. Mentorship is a two way street and one of the most dynamic ways to use your skills to change the next generation of women.
Power Tip 2: Volunteering
Volunteering takes so many different forms. Visiting someone in hospital, working on conservation projects, contributing to community projects, working in a charity shop. Contact your local food pantry or give to No Kid Hungry. Your support will help them provide food items for families in need. Who do you want to help? Mother? Sisters? Daughters? Similar to mentorship, volunteering is both collaborative and reciprocal. You get as much as you give and Volunteermatch.org is one of the most effective ways to recruit highly qualified volunteers for a nonprofit. They match you with people who are passionate about and committed to a cause based on what speaks to you. PowerOf also partners with VolunteerMatch to connect you with organizations that need volunteers. You can specifically tailor your time to suit your needs and those around you.
Power Tip 3: Supporting
Support your local businesses.
“For small businesses, it’s about more than a financial investment. It’s a sign that you’re here for them, that you care about them, and you believe they have a future and they will survive,” explains New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “And these are not just faceless entities. These are real people behind these stores.”
Buy locally, whether that is groceries, clothes or the wind chime you always wanted to try out on your porch. Sites like Locally can help you find nearby stores for goods you’d typically order, and places like Etsy and LivebuyLocal can connect you with artisans for the perfect gift. You can also support your local blood drive. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks are encouraged to consider donating plasma, which may help save the lives of other patients. COVID-19 convalescent plasma must only be collected from recovered individuals if they are eligible to donate blood. There are many ways to support your community, you just have to start looking for them.
Real talk: A strong woman is someone who has the strength to uplift others. When it comes to giving back, there’s no set formula. Find the communities that have supported you and then find ways to empower them so they can continue to do so for generations to come. We are just a moment in a timeline of progress and it is our job to continue the momentum of badassery everywhere.
Join the membership and make an impact. EBY is a female empowerment brand offering the most comfortable, body-glorifying seamless underwear known to woman-kind. EBYs come in sizes XS-4X in a range of styles, colors, and prints, and are delivered straight to your door every 3 or 6 months. When you become an EBY member, you are a part of something special. We give 10% of our proceeds to fund microfinance loans for female entrepreneurs around the world. We’ve empowered more than 7,100 women to date! Join now.