Give back and go without (it’s not thatttt hard…)

It’s Thursday and I know you are all waiting with bated breath for a post with a pile of uberlicious blogs to go check out. I hope you’ll indulge me this week as I pay homage to one blog in particular; a blog creating a movement of hope, inspiration and giving back! 

I was over visiting uber-fabulous blogger Amber West recently and read about her #gowithout movement happening across the blogging community. Ahhhmazing!

So here’s her take on things. No matter what way you look at it, the economy (US or Canadian) kind of sucks right now. A lot of us are living paycheck to paycheck (I know I am). That can make it difficult to think about making any sort of monetary donation to charities. It’s hard to give to others when you are struggling to get by yourself.

But what if we could give up something up, maybe even something small, in order to give back? Could we look at our expenses and find something to spare in any given week in the name of helping someone with a greater need?

Ummmm…that’s easy…Big. Fat. YES!

This is what is Amber has called the #gowithout Movement and here’s how it works:

  1. Choose something to go without (as small or as large as you want) for a week.
  2. Blog (or Facebook/Tweet) about what you are giving up and who you are giving your $5/$10/$20/whatever to.
  3. Link your blog here and join the others participating in Amber’s #gowithout movement. The linky tool will be active for a month, so there’s plenty of time to join.

What can you give up for the week?

The ideas are endless; books, coffee, bottled water, tolls, eating out, favorite snack etc. It can be as big, or as small, as you choose.

What charity should you donate to?

Amber put together a couple of charities that allow text donations to keep it super easy. I’ve gone along and added some Canadian ones. But remember, you are free to donate to the charity of your choice.

You can find a pretty comprehensive list of other Canadian charities that accept text donations here. Or contact a local charity you love and drop off your $$$!

If you don’t blog, don’t worry! Anyone can participate in giving back.

  • Leave a comment at any of the blogs taking part and let us know how you will join in the #gowithout movement.
  • Post a photo on Facebook.
  • Visit Twitter and Amber’s hashtag #gowithout and tweet what you’re giving up and which wonderful charity will get a donation from you.

So what am I giving up to give to?

I am giving up eating out for a week! OUCH!!!

You all know my commitment to bringing an end to impaired driving so it’ll come as no surprise that I will be making a $25 donation to MADD Canada with my eating out cash.

And I will do a random act of kindness by picking the coffee tab for the person behind me in a Tim Horton’s drive-thru (I’ve been dying to do this…think it’s soooo neat!!) one day this week (guess it’ll be Friday).

#gowithout Blog Mashup

As part of this week’s blog luv, I’d like to highlight some of my fellow bloggers taking part in the #gowithout movement thus far:

  • Jillian Dodd is giving up Chick-Fil-A for a week and is sending her donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • Stacy Green is giving up her afternoon coke and is sending her donation to the American Diabetes Association.
  • Andrea S. Michaels is giving up pizza and is donating her money to Save a Jaguar.
  • Lyn Midnight reminds us that you can donate more than just cash; how about books, clothes, etc to those who need it.
  • Tiffany A White is giving up her Sugar Queen Cupcakes to send some cash to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
  • Heidi has a very personal story about life changing moments and donated $5 to a hospital in Spokane.
  • Girl Parker is giving up salted caramel mocha and is firing her $5 to a charity called Triangle, Inc., an organization that supports those with physical disabilities and their families, even providing job training.
  • Ellie Ann is giving up non-essential beverages (aka, anything but water and coffee) for the whole month and giving that extra money to Living Water International.
  • My beautiful WANA Sista Barbara McDowell has a serious addiction to daily gourmet lattes that she’s giving up to donate funds to RAINN – the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, which is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization.
  • My other beautiful WANA Sista Diana Murdock shows us that sometimes reaching out to a stranger is a powerful way to give.
  • Candice Bundy is pledging to go without a glass of wine on a night out once a week for the next month. In return, she’ll donate to one of the fine charities Amber listed.
  • Bella resisted lunch out with a friend and suggested they donate the money they would’ve spent on lunch to their favorite charity, UNICEF.
  • Beverly Diehl made us aware of several causes she is focusing on this month.
  • Kimby gives her time to others and spreads the word in a delicious way on her blog.
  • At Girls with Pens, Marcy has chosen to give up jelly beans. Lisa is giving up all iTunes purchases for a month. .99cents here and there add up. Both ladies are donating the money they save to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Wow – that’s a lot of giving up and giving back! I LOVE IT! Woot woot!!

Huge thanks to Amber! Your #gowithout Movement is a reminder of just how easy  (and important) it is to make a difference in the lives of others!

What are you going to give up to give back? Come on…join in the fun!



  1. That a long list of people giving. This movement is so great!!

    • It is, isn’t it?! I hope I got everyone thus far but I may be missing a few. I love it. Love when a movement of hope and inspiration fires us all up to give back etc!!! Woot woot!!

  2. Natalie, what a great wrap up of what’s been accomplished thus far! Your posts serves to infuse readers with enthusiasm. I think if after reading it readers don’t feel inspired, I don’t know what will serve as inspiration! 🙂 Thanks for the mention, sister!

    • Thanks so much Bella! I agree, I am hoping my post will light a fire under everyone’s butt to do a little something to make the world a better place. It doesn’t have to be much. Having worked in the non-profit sector for years, I can tell everyone that $5 does make a difference and it does ADD up! Woot woot. My pleasure on the mention – glad you are on board!!!

  3. Thanks for the lovely shout out and including me in the mashup! It is such a positive, fantastic idea that I hope it grow legs and runs forward wild! 🙂

  4. That’s a hell of a lot of love swirling around right now! Great post, Natalie! It’s inspiring to see everyone pitch in. At the grocery store when I am checking out, I always give to whatever charity they are promoting. It’s easy – just adding a buck or two when paying for my groceries. A no brainer!

    • I know Diana – it makes my heart swell to see so many folks reaching deep and giving back. And what a great way to support local charities. I always toss a few coins in here and there and make those dollar or two dollar donations to local charities at different stores – it’s easy and I know it all adds up to make a big difference. No brainer for sure! 🙂

  5. Natalie, I’ve thanked you on Twitter, but I have to say once again, THANK YOU. It makes my day every time I see another person joining up or tweeting with the #GoWithout tag.

    I love that you took the extra step of giving all the bloggers who have joined already some love AND giving out the text numbers for even more charities!

    • Awwww – thanks Amber! You are most welcome. When I first saw your post and idea, I was blown away and knew I wanted to join in on the fun. It’s a tremendous idea and I hope it totally goes viral! Woot woot.

  6. Gorgeous explanation, Natalie! And I applaud that you really took it a step further, both monetarily and in listing further causes. Well done!!

  7. Awesome Natalie! I hope you don’t mind if I tag some of the posts you have in my #Gowithout blog on Monday. This is such a fabulicious thing everyone is participating in!

    Small gifts can make a huge difference. Way to go, girl!

    • Tameri, feel free to take it word-for-word as much as you like and can make use of. I am thrilled to share!
      You are so right – small gifts can easily add up to big differences! Looking forward to reading your Monday post and seeing what you are going to go without to give back! 🙂

  8. Wonderful. This is just wonderful. Thank you so much for playing the Go Without game. You make me smile.


  1. […] free to check out the latest blog to join the cause – Natalie Hartford not only blogged about her plans for #gowithout, but listed some more charities and did a great […]

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