Do you know what you stand for? As Founder and CEO of Hello Neighbor, Sloane Davidson is a lifelong philanthropist and advocate. Last year Sloane wanted to find a way to support recently resettled refugees in her neighborhood and hosted a Syrian family for Thanksgiving. That memorable dinner was the catalyst for Hello Neighbor, a mentorship program for refugees and immigrants that is currently in its first class of mentors and mentees with 25 “matches” in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. And she has plans underway to expand into other cities!
Her advice to start cause-filled living, a phrase she invented that means creating a life with meaning through giving back, is simple: find your passion, create an investment strategy and define the returns and don’t be afraid to change your mind.
Cause-filled living requires dedication and long hours, so choose something that you really care about. And you can start small—go to a community meet-up, schedule coffee with a community leader, or volunteer at a local nonprofit that supports a cause close to your heart. Finding a need is easy, learning your passion and creating an opportunity for change may require a little extra effort. But by discovering what you’re really passionate about, you will naturally create relationships that align with change.
Sloane has explored many different causes, from recycling programs as an adolescent to raising more than $20,000 for malaria prevention. From building women and girls empowerment programs, to serving at a Kiva Microfinance Fellow in the Philippines. From organizing charity walks at work, sitting on advisory boards, young professional boards and board of directors for organizations and she cares about. And while she’s dedicated herself to many causes, you can start by choosing one and taking Sloane’s advice: dedicate yourself, educating yourself on issues, and throwing yourself in through first-hand experiences.