By: Bonnie McLaughlin for IVitamin

 

IVitamin is proudly owned and operated by women and as such, we want to encourage all of our readers and clients to take some time this month to observe Women’s History Month; a month of honoring the women in your life as well as the women who paved the road before us. And since there are all sorts of ways to mark this month of all things empowering and female, we decided to pick our favorites for your reading pleasure.

 

So read on and get to celebrating!!

 

Make a Donation to a Women’s Charity

 

People have the strange idea that you have to donate a lot of money to make a difference but really every little bit helps. Even as little as a few dollars helps, just think, if thousands of us all donated just $5, that could make a HUGE DIFFERENCE!!

 

Not sure who to send your hard-earned cash to? Here are some of our favorites:

 

Girls Inc.

From their website: “The network of local Girls Inc. nonprofit organizations serves girls ages 6-18 at more than 1,500 sites in 350 cities across the United States and Canada. Our research-based programming is delivered by trained professionals who focus on the development of the whole girl, supporting, mentoring, and guiding girls in an affirming, pro-girl environment. Here, girls learn to value their whole selves, discover and develop their inherent strengths, and receive the support they need to navigate the challenges they face.”

 

Women for Women

From the website: “Through an integrated approach, Women for Women International brings women together to overcome the social, economic, and cultural barriers that keep them from reaching their full potential. In groups of 25, women learn to build support networks with each other, share experiences, learn critical social and economic skills, and access resources. “

 

Step Up

From their website: “Step Up propels girls living or going to school in under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of professional women.”

 

UltraViolet

From their website: “UltraViolet is a community of one million people that drives feminist cultural and political change. Through people power and strategic advocacy, we work to improve the lives of women and girls of all identities and backgrounds, and all people impacted by sexism, by dismantling discrimination and creating a cost for sexism.”

 

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

From their website: “Our mission is to lead, mobilize and raise our voices to support efforts that demand a change of conditions that lead to domestic violence such as patriarchy, privilege, racism, sexism, and classism. We are dedicated to supporting survivors and holding offenders accountable and supporting advocates.”

 

Volunteer for a Women’s Organization

 

I know your time is probably pretty strapped and your calendar scares the heck out of you but the gift of your time can be instrumental. Just an hour or so once a week could mean that more donations get collected, more people get the food they need, and more people simply have a friendly face to talk to. Check out local women’s shelters, healthcare clinics, or use Volunteer Match to find opportunities in your area.

 

Wear a graphic t-shirt to display your pride

(bonus points for tees that give a portion of their profits to charity)

 

This cute one donates 10% to charities designed to lift women up.

This powerful one with the amazing Audre Lorde quote gives a portion of its proceeds to assorted women’s charities.

The sale of this t-shirt by PERIOD provides five women with menstrual products.

This adorable silhouette tee is a personal fave and its sale helps fund leadership awards for women.

 

Read Books by Female Authors

 

I maintain that making us read Charles Dickens in High School and not Joan Didion was an absolute crime. Slouching Towards Bethlehem changed my life while A Tale of Two Cities mostly just made me hate reading. But you can rectify our education system’s poor literary choices by making some awesome ones yourself! Whether you’re a biography addict, a fantasy lover, or more of a whodunit kinda reader, there is a slew of amazing literature written by intensely talented women for you to dive into. I narrowed it down to five of my favorites and I would be lying if I said it was easy.

 

Biography: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Fantasy: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Humor: We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

Thriller: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Memoir: Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi

 

Host a Ladies Game Night

 

I am planning one of these right now. I bought a deck of women cards, this wooden guessing game called WHO’S SHE, and this Inspirational Women Trivia Game. Have everyone bring a dish or cocktail, make a judgement call on whether to include the enlightened males in your life, and settle in for a night of girl power with your favorite people.

 

Wine not included.

 

Send your favorite women empowering cards/texts

 

One of my New Years Resolutions was to hype my friends up more so I randomly send them texts reminding them of their power, their influence, and their effect on me. The best part if that if you start this, it becomes a sort of non-annoying chain reaction among your friends. You’ll start getting them too!

 

But, if you want to take it a step further and send out some fun paper cards to your favorite inspirational women, here are some cute ones that should do the trick. No one likes getting the mail unless they are on day two of prime shipping so let’s change that.

 

Support women-led businesses

 

THIS ONE IS EVERYTHING. According to WBENC in 2017, over 1,800 new female-founded businesses were started every single day and 64% of those were started by women of color. There are around 12.3 million women running their own businesses and we need to make a conscious effort to support them.

 

Check out Women Owned for a list of women-led businesses you can support or even register your own business and join the movement!

 

Don’t have the funds to support Women Owned companies like you want to? Share their social media posts, refer them to your friends, and sign up for their newsletters! Every little bit helps and since 88% of women owned businesses make less than $100,000 in revenue, your referral or Instagram share could be the little boost they need.

 

VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE

 

Look, a hundred years ago women were beaten, imprisoned, and tortured for their determination to earn the vote (for *some* women, we have to remember that women of color had to fight longer for that right) and not doing your civic duty is a massive disservice to them. Put it on your calendar, make the time, and VOTE. Remember that your employer legally has to give you time to do so and that YOUR VOICE MATTERS.

 

The best way to vote? Think of the most disenfranchised person you can and vote in their best interests. Just because things are peachy for you does not allow you to eschew your responsibility to care for others. Don’t hide behind your privilege, fight for everyone to have a seat at the table.

 

Together we rise.

 

Happy Women’s History Month from IVitamin and stay tuned for more health and wellness blogs!

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