Hannah Payne x #BlackoutHomelessness
I want to #blackouthomelessness this holiday because I think your community can only be at its strongest when you’re helping those in need. The Giving Keys is based in Los Angeles and is identifying such a desperate need in our community, which I think is so important and admirable. As a student at UCLA, I live at such an interesting intersection: We have such an incredible opportunity here to study at a university that puts us on a trajectory for our lives, but as we walk to class we pass by people who are underserved and don’t have the privileges we do. It is so easy not to acknowledge the people in need right in our own community, but it is so important to do something because we can only be at our strongest when we reach out and help those in need collectively. I feel personally called to give to others. Even though I feel a responsibility to give, in turn it always makes me feel like I am receiving a gift. The holiday season is such a happy time of year because we tend to live more selflessly. There’s a bigger focus on others and on giving, which has so much more of an impact and can be so much more fulfilling than living for ourselves alone. I want to encourage you to be present and to savor the moments spent with others instead of feeling pressured by the obligations you might have during the holiday season. Redirect your focus to people instead of things. My key says INSPIRE. In order to be INSPIREd, you constantly have to be living in a state of open mindedness. I’ve always found that when my heart and mind are open to new opportunities and friendships that I feel so much more uplifted in my daily life. I think the notion of passing on a gift is so special, and the fact that this key represents being INSPIREd is such an empowering and encouraging thing that I’m so excited to give to someone else when the time is right. There is someone in my life that just started a business in the past year. She is inspiring to so many, including myself, and I would love to pass my key on to her because it would be a reminder of the work she is doing, and will continue to do, as she INSPIREs others.