Sloane Berrent: The Causemopolitan
"Philanthropy, giving back, inspiring others to find something they care about—to start small, start anywhere—has always been part of my DNA," says Sloane Berrent, founder of TheCausemopolitan.com. She's not kidding. She started small, but has indeed found her inspiration and passion in helping others over the years. In fourth grade, she started an all-school recycling program. In seventh grade, she volunteered weekly at The Children's Institute in Pittsburgh. In ninth grade, she served as youth chair to the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. In 11th grade, she co-created an all-school "day of caring." When it comes to helping, Sloane was, and still is, is a force of nature.
She says, "In college, I gathered friends to volunteer. It was a part of my fabric, something that fit right and that I didn’t grow out of." She earned a BA in political science from the University of Vermont and a Masters of Public Administration from New York University. She lived in or traveled through South America, the Phillipines, France, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma, getting to know the needs of the people there and falling in love with each place. About the Phillipines, she says, "My bond and tie with the Philippines will never be broken. I lived in her provinces and took bucket-showers in her villages. I met the women and people there and worked incredibly hard to give them all the resources, knowledge, and skills I had to make their infrastructure stronger."
And though she was born in Pittsburgh, she has lived in and served the citizens of New Orleans, Los Angeles, and New York, and is passionate about each of those places as well. About New Orleans, where she lived just after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, she says, "I [felt], from the moment my feet hit that Louisiana soil, that I was home." It is easy to see, even in writing, that Sloane is passionate about many things in life. Indeed, that passion is nowhere more evident than in the career she pursued in the world of cause marketing. She has raised millions of dollars for the Archer School for Girls, the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation, and Causecast. She co-founded Answer With Action, a combination of "boutique" volunteer experiences and networking opportunities for young socially-conscious L.A. professionals. She was a Kiva Fellow, and raised $7,500 in one month just through her own blog and use of social media to go on the fellowship. She helped create a campaign called Cause It’s My Birthday to raise money for malaria nets in Ghana.
Today, Sloane Berrent is a busy woman and a testimonial to one of the biggest, best secrets ever: the fact that “service to a just cause rewards the worker with more real happiness and satisfaction than any other venture of life.” (Carrie Chapman Catt, American women's rights activist)
What are some simple things you can do to give back?
Photo courtesy of Promojam.tumblr.com.