Causes

Michelle Holm Causes

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Acts 20:35

Everyone possess the ability to give back in their own unique way, whether it’s through time, financial contribution, knowledge transfer or using your talents/skill sets to make the world a better place.

Giving back continually offers me a new, ever-evolving perspective on life. Volunteering my time in underserved areas provides a constant reminder of how incredibly fulfilled a person can be, regardless of the absence of the luxuries we take for granted in America, such as clean water. The people I’ve met (who have little-to-no material possessions) are the wealthiest people I know in terms of family and friends, gratefulness, and overall happiness.

It’s an amazing feeling to know your contributions to non-profit organizations are being optimized to improve the quality of life for others such as digging wells to provide clean water, providing medications to patients who would otherwise go without, and creating sustainable living; for example, through tilapia farms used within orphanages.

Americans won the lottery in terms of where we were born, we were indeed lucky.  Sharing and disseminating our good fortune to others, who happen to be born in an environment with less opportunities available, can help lead others to a more prosperous life.

Haiti

The important focus of my work abroad is based on sustainability, creating an environment of “Train the Trainer”, to promote eventual self-sustainability. By focusing on building relationships through partnerships with health care professionals in various countries we can create avenues to eventual self-sufficiency. This process comes with time through a phased approach of providing education and eventually teaching our healthcare counterparts to teach one another.
It’s hard to formulate the experiences I’ve had in Haiti into words but the first few thoughts that come to mind are the caring and compassionate mannerisms of Haitians. Haitians believe in God with all their heart and would give the shirt off their back if you asked for it, even if it was the only shirt they owned. Their smiles light up a room and each time I visit I feel as though I’ve been given more love from them than the education I’ve provided in return.
Michelle Holm in Haiti for Causes

Giving

It is important to partner with non-profit organizations to assure the efforts will someday bear the fruit you are working towards. Partnering with transparent, accountable, and financially-stable organizations is an important step for successful partnerships and positive outcomes. To find out if the charity you are planning to work with, or financially support, is the right fit visit Charity Navigator to verify the organization appears on the list (it takes several years before a charity will appear) and is in good standing.

Many people ask me which charities I support. I’ve included a list of charities I’ve been contributing to during the past several years.

Fundraising

Fundraising is an important tool for propelling initiatives forward due to the fact that most organizations require outside support to keep running.

If you’re looking for some ideas to get started here are a few projects I’ve been involved with over the past few years. I hope they inspire you to donate to a cause you feel passionate about or start your own fundraising initiative.

Potbelly’s Fundraiser

Ice Bucket Challenge

United Way Advocate

St Luke Hospital

Education

Education is a big part of who I am and what I enjoy doing. Whether it’s speaking at a national conference or precepting pharmacy students in the operating room during their student rotations I feel education is the best way to pay forward the knowledge you’ve gained throughout your training and education.

I still have a lot to learn about public health, which is why I decided to go back to school for a Masters in Public Health degree. Hoping to graduate by May 2020!

Michelle Holm presenting Education Causes

Youth Group Leader

Causes Michelle Holm Youth Group

When I was asked to be a high school girls youth group leader I knew it would take a significant amount of time and effort. I seriously considered abstaining due to the time demands of my current job but if an opportunity is presented to you it’s only fair to consider the possibility of saying yes (which means not saying “no” right away just because it’s the easier choice).

So I dove in, headfirst, not knowing what to expect. I started blocking off lunch hours so my schedule would be more open to spending time with the girls and getting to know them on a more personal level. I vowed to give the best advice I could (and probably gave too much!) in hopes it would help them through the treacherous years we call “adolescence”.

Following the first year we went on a mission trip to help feed the many homeless people who call Washington, D.C. their home. While we were providing food and bottled water to patrons in the parks I noticed several of the girls transition from being timid and shy to slowly gaining confidence and approaching the patrons with an open heart and a willingness to converse and give back. Watching the girls look beyond themselves and their issues to put the focus on others was the best reward I could have asked for as a leader.