how will your 67 minutes today change the world?

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you may not know this but nelson mandela’s birthday is today, which conviently coinsides with “Nelson Mandela International Day” (oh i see what they did there). this is a day declared by the UN to recognize his contribute to reconciliation. pretty powerful things.

this incredible man spent 27 years (that is 1 year longer than i’ve been on this earth) in prison for being one of the leaders working to end the apartheid (racial segreation) that existed heavily in south africa. 2 years after he was released from prison, he became the first black president of south africa in the first all-race election (read: not-only-whites). this man makes me want to step up my game.

in honor of this man, people across the world are spending (at least) 67 minutes today giving back to the world, helping their community and working to make this world we all share a better place. here’s the youtube video to prove it:

oh, do you need celebrities to tell you they are doing it so you’ll do it too (hey…some people are motivated by different things) then here’s that video for you!

67 minutes of charitable acts signifies the 67 years nelson mandela has given of public service. here’s the official website of mandela day. from the website “Whether as an individual, community, business, non-governmental organisation (NGO) or a government department, all you have to do on July 18 is donate 67 minutes of your day to doing something good in any way you can. Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for social justice. Can you spare 67 minutes of yours to support a charity or serve your local community?”

there is a long list of activities found on the mandela day website for ideas on how to give back today (and really…every day). here are my favorites at the moment:

  •  Make a new friend. Get to know someone from a different cultural background. Only through mutual understanding can we rid our communities of intolerance and xenophobia.
  •  Donate your skills!
  •  Help someone get a job. Put together and print a CV (resume) for them, or help them with their interview skills.
  • Write to your area councillor about a problem in the area that requires attention, which you, in your personal capacity, are unable to attend to.
  •  Many terminally ill people have no one to speak to. Take a little time to have a chat and bring some sunshine into their lives.
  • Offer to provide tutoring in a school subject you are good at.
  • Donate a bag of art supplies
  •  To the poorest of the poor, shoes can be a luxury. Don’t hoard them if you don’t wear them. Pass them on!
  •  Mentor someone. Make time to listen to what the kids have to say and give them good advice.
  •  Learn the story of someone older than you. Too often people forget that the elderly have a wealth of experience and wisdom and, more often than not, an interesting story to tell.
  •  Donate indigenous trees to beautify neighbourhoods in poorer areas.
  •  Organise to clean up your local park, river, beach, street, town square or sports grounds with a few friends. Our children  deserve to grow up in a clean and healthy environment.

today i plan on helping with someone’s resume, picking up a ton of garbage that litters my neighborhood, and getting more familiar with the service organizations in my new city to see where i can donate some of my mad skillz. oh and finishing up my projects for HOBY!

so instead of watching that hour (and 7 minutes) of television tonight or this morning, what are you going to do to give back to your community in honor of the magnificent work nelson mendela has done for the world? as anne frank said “nobody every became poor by giving.”

the new wifestyle: give back to your community and know that one person can absolutely make a difference.

1) what are other activities you do to give back to your community?
2) how are you going to spend your 67 minutes today?
3) what is one thing you are passionate about changing or fixing in your community or society?

please share this article with your network so we can spread the word about 67 minutes to make a difference!


  1. Dinah Sherrill

    July 20, 2013 at 4:58 am

    I did not realize it was Mandela day but ended up making some good choices anyways! ( I have a blog draft of a conversation I had with a complete stranger eating ice-cream on Wednesday) and then I took a ladies bag of rice and set it in front of me in the grocery line, she had a big stroller with baby in it and just that 1 item so I let her skip ahead of me!!! She was very grateful! It’s the small things that mean a lot! Lets keep changing the world with our thoughtfulness!!!

    • chelsea

      July 21, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      you are gooood dinah! i’m excited to read your blog post about chatting with a strange while eating ice cream! very nice that you also let the woman with a bag of rice jump in head of you-totally think small things can really mean a lot! love it!