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8 ways we’re making the world a better place in 2017

New Year seems to bring out the most determined, goal-oriented and productive parts of us. We set our sights high and aim for greatness. After a rough election year, and in anticipation of a new U.S. president, New Year has also seemed to turn people’s efforts outward in an attempt to make the world a better place. We asked our community what they’re doing this year to make the world brighter. Here’s what they said.

1. Kindness and volunteer work

“In 2017, I plan to demonstrate kindness in ways I never have. I’ve picked small ways so far – smiling at people on the subway, and saying good morning on the street (my kids help!), and striking up conversations with those who seem to be wrapped in their own thoughts. Over the past year, I started volunteering with Make-a-Wish, I started a ministry that helps involve young families in the church, and I am about to begin volunteer work with my local children’s hospital.” – Steph Bernaba

2. Making hats for the homeless

“I have made a commitment to make a hat a week to donate to the homeless in our area in 2017. By investing my time and energy each week, it will keep the homeless and the issues they face in the forefront of my thoughts and encourage me to find more ways to help.” – Susan Santoro

3. Attending a Women’s March

“I’ve been donating my money to various causes that have meaning to me, volunteered my time at a food bank, and plan to attend a supporting Women’s March in NYC on January 21. It’s the least I feel I can do while the world seemingly crumbles around me. – Ali Arnone

4. Organizing for charity

My new radio show has been doing incredibly well. To show our gratitude we give back by supporting charities and organizations who also service our community. Places like Cohen Children’s Medical Center (who we just raised $94K+ for), animal rescue and adoption facilities and cancer charities. In 2017, we have plans to advocate for people and animal shelters who need our voice most by adding more organizations to our roster. If we can promote them more than we promote ourselves, 2017 will have been a huge success. – Dr. Cooper Lawrence

5. Donating a percentage of money earned

I have decided that I will donate a percentage of all money I earn in 2017 to Because I Am a Girl. I watched Tom Shadyac’s movie I Am again a few weeks ago and was reminded of the importance of being part of a solution to the problems of the world. The work I do is all about working with women to help them connect with their passion and live a fulfilled life. I want to contribute to a cause that is working to help break the cycle of poverty for young girls and the communities they live in! – Sandra Dawes

5. Becoming more politically active

I am going to be more politically active, by which I mean small steps. I may march, but since I have a small child, cannot put myself out there as much as I may have in the past. I will absolutely call representatives (something I’ve never done before), and educate myself and others. – Sarah Myers

6. Participating in a boycott

I’ll be participating in the Injustice Boycott ( and talking about it with my 4 yr old daughter. – Sachi Feris

7. Limiting over-reaction

I’m trying not to stress out over things unnecessarily. I got into the habit of overreacting and I’m trying to manage that better. I’m doing this to make things easier for myself, of course, but also to model better for my son, who also has a tendency to stress unnecessarily, and also to send less angsty energy out into the world. – Adriana Velez

8. Promoting positivity

I plan do make 2017 the year I focus on promoting positivity. I hope to be a more uplifting and compassionate person, as well as helping surround others with the warm and fuzzy! – Nikki Leonard

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