Alexis Grace Stritt, National Spokesperson for Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary
Community Service is a pillar of all pageant systems both large and small. It's axiomatic that pageant girls should use their crown for good but when taking into consideration that platforms brand you, determine a lot of your interview questions, and will occupy days and weeks of your life the choice can be daunting. When championing a cause forget everything else and choose a pageant platform that you actually give a rip about the outcome their are trying to produce. And if you can't connect with a platform right away don't beat yourself up. Most girls find connecting with a cause difficult in the beginning and my experience has proven that the ones who are suddenly "passionate" about their cause is usually faking it to put forth a positive impression.
Therefore, take your time in selecting a pageant platform, there is no rush...unless of course you have waited until the last minute ;-) Your cause really should be something that you connect with...and if you don't then don't rush into a commitment. If you just want to "date" a few platforms then date around but let the various organizations know that you are dating around. Then when you are ready to settle down...do so. I've compiled a few below that I personally like for various reasons and thought that I would share. I have more information on some of them should you desire more insight.
1. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America
This organization has a great national presence as well as a local impact with a variety of character building programs.
2. The Children’s Miracle Network
As the official Miss America Platform, this network is supported heavily throughout our nation and abroad.
3. Girls Scouts of America
This group is tried and true. You can have a lot of fun with the girls, plus you can’t beat the cookies!
4. Read Across America
Literacy is a pageant platform that can have a high impact for its participants. This organization sets people up for lifetime success.
5. Girls Inc.
This is a favorite pageant platform idea of mine. Their mission statement is to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold. This modern girls group has a more activist feeling than a traditional non-profit organization.
6. Second Harvest Food Bank
Nationwide banks provide food to 37 million low-income families. Following dreams is hard when you are hungry so this practical platform helps people truly in need today.
7. Dress for Success
For the fashionista in you, this worthy cause gives a dress and a new energy for employment fight.
8. Susan G. Komen Foundation
Breast Cancer awareness is one of the most important causes of our lifetime.
9. The 50 Million Pound Challenge
This cause is one that gets people talking about their health and challenging themselves to live and love better.
10. Make Your Own
With an open mind and an open heart, you can be an active problem solver in your local community. Find an issue that means something to you personally and go after bettering the world nearest to you!
11. Nourish the Children
Nourish the Children is a non-profit organization dedicating to eradicating death by malnutrition that is tied in with a for profit company. You can not only raise money for a worthy cause but you can also earn money doing so. A donation of roughly $25 will feed one child for 30 days in whatever country you choose. The for profit company will then pay you a commission on the monies raised and give you a tax receipt to write off your donations.
12. U Hatin?
U Hatin? is a nonprofit company that's dedicated to stopping bullying. They work closely with hip hop artists, schools and celebrities to spread the message of love and not hate.
13. Queen for a Day
Queen for a Day charities is ran by a former Miss Florida and Miss Florida USA, Jenna Edwards. This nonprofit organization focuses on making little girls feel for one day what you get to experience for at least a year.
14. Give Kids the World
Give Kids the World is probably one of the most heartfelt nonprofits that I've visited to date. They are located near Disney World in Florida and are a destination charity where a terminally ill child and his or her family come to stay for the week. During the week the family is given a home to live and the terminally ill child sleeps in the master bedroom while the parents get the guest bedroom. The mayor is a Buddy who stops by each night to tuck in the children, read them a story and have a pillow an occasional pillow fight. The kids can eat ice cream from 9am until 9pm and are frequently visited by characters from Disney World. Great experience to ease the pain of hurting children.
Now that you've chosen your platform, let's start raising funds for it!
Did you know that you can raise money for your platform right from your Pageant Planet profile? The feature works just like GoFundMe and like GoFundMe there is a 0% platform fee. Contestants will only pay 2.9% + $.30 per donation, to cover credit card processing. But, unlike any other donation site, Pageant Planet has created this feature specifically with contestants in mind. You can learn more about how to set up your very own Pageant Planet fundraiser by clicking here!
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