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The Best Ways To Get Down While Giving Back

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As young professionals strapped for cash it’s a rarity to be able to donate as much as we might like to charity. Sure, we don’t have 100k to throw down for a table at a Wall Street Gala, but we can offer our time, support and tiny amount of disposable income (beer money) that can easily translate into a tax-deductible reason to have a little fun.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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Since 1962, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has been treating children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. What you might not know: No family ever pays St. Jude for anything, and on average the hospital sees 260 patients each day. Over the past five years, for each dollar raised 81 cents has gone directly back to research and treatment at St. Jude.

This summer, Darius Rucker hosted “Darius and Friends” alongside Luke Bryan, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Radney Foster, Randy Houser, Dustin Lynch and Justin Moore. The concert took place in Nashville and all proceeds from the event went directly to St. Jude.

Never been to Nashville, but love country music? Events like this provide you with the opportunity to get some friends together, plan a trip to an amazing city like Nashville all while supporting an incredible cause. Check out Music Row in the morning, grab lunch at the Bluebird Café, spend the early evening rocking out to “Wagon Wheel” then party all night at any of Nashville’s great Honky Tonk bars. You can continue your binge-drinking-for-charity the following day, as “Darius and Friends” also hosts an 18-hole golf tournament.

Wounded Warrior Project

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The Wounded Warrior Project was established to serve veterans and service members and their families who sustained a physical or mental injury, illness or wound from their military service on or after September 11, 2001. In Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, for every US soldier killed, seven were wounded. An estimated 400,000 servicemen and women suffer from combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Thinking about taking a trip to the Windy City? Consider attending the “4th Annual WIU Homecoming in Chicago & Other College Friends Too, Party.” Yep. That’s the real name. Taking place in October, this year the Western Illinois University alumni are focused on raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. The event is described as “plenty of seasoned drinkers” who “get together and reminisce about the old days in college” while raising money for WWP through donations and raffle prizes. Seasoned drinkers? Reminiscing about the glory days? If that’s not up the PGP alley, I don’t know what is.

To search for an event that supports the Wounded Warrior Project in your area, click here.

Project C.U.R.E.

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Project C.U.R.E. (Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment) provides medical supplies and equipment to more than 130 underserved countries around the world. C.U.R.E. Cargo is a program that delivers semi-trailer truck-sized cargo containers housing $400,000 worth of medical supplies to under-resourced hospitals, clinics, and community health centers globally.

Each year Project C.U.R.E holds three major fundraising events, one of which is “High Rollers for Health and Hope – Bet on Project C.U.R.E.” Taking place in Denver, the event raises funds while you try your hand at poker, craps, roulette and blackjack. Last year the proceeds went to delivering medical relief to clinics and hospitals in Mexico. There are discounted tickets for young professionals, and plenty of food and booze to go around. Gambling for a good cause in the Mile High City? Yet another great way to give back.

Non-profit organizations are always looking for volunteers to offer their time and support. Find a cause you are passionate about and get in contact with a local chapter to find out how you can help. Volunteering is a great way to network, build a resumé and give back to the community.

Often we find ourselves complaining about hand we were dealt—a college degree, steady source of income, roof over our heads, good health—without taking a step back to acknowledge how fortunate we really are. It’s easy to lose of sight of the bigger picture. We’ve got our health, we’ve got our family, our friends and at the end of the day, postgrad problems and all, we’ve got a hell of a lot to be thankful for.

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