Under the Skin: How to Spread Beauty in your City

It’s not a question, and for our readers, it’s never been one: All of us want to do good, and often. Each day, through the mediums of our podcasts, papers or preferred news stations, we’re exposed to hoards of things that are wrong with our world. Often, we’re not shown how to make things right. (Or even just a little bit better, you know?)

Launched last month, LocalLove.ca is a platform created by the brilliant minds at the United Way; a place that, in the greater Toronto area, tackles local poverty in all its forms so everyone gets a fair chance at a good life. The editors here took inspiration from some of the best websites on the internet and - using a template that doesn’t feel like a chore - filled it with inspiration, interviews and genuine calls to actionable change. (Some of our favourite articles include "how to help a family member who's being abused", "the pros and cons of volunteer vacations", and "reclaiming the word fat".)

What we wanted to do was help them help us, in a sense. We know that, as young people our ideas and ambitions are some of the largest on the planet, but our budgets run on the smaller side of things. That doesn’t matter here. 

Below - Thanks to the sharp minds at Local Love - five ways to make a difference right now.

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Is coffee good for you? This time, Hell Yes. 

Do you ever sip your java with a teeny pang of guilt, wondering if what you’re brewing and consuming with unwavering devotion is kind of...not that great for you? Now you don’t have to. Klink Coffee (which we’ve tested and LOVE) employs individuals who have been in conflict with the law and those who have been recently released from prison, opening doors so they can restart their lives with meaningful employment. Want to empower marginalized community members tomorrow morning? Just have coffee. 
 

Beauty Food, IRL.

This one is BRILLIANT. For $55 a head, you and your friends can come together to cook up 150 to 250 servings of fresh soup that gets donated to local women’s shelters. Hosted by Dish Cooking Studio in Toronto, you’ll have the chance to catch up with loved ones while nourishing others and honestly, does it get any better than that? Cap off the night with a glass of wine and the knowledge that you provided nourishment for women looking for a safe place and a warm meal. 
 

Become a Cat Lady.

Full disclosure: I am not a cat person.
I am however, a firm believer in the magic of a warm, fluffy friend, and if puppies don’t do that for you, we’ve found the purrfect opportunity with the Toronto Cat Rescue (don’t hate me for taking advantage of that pun opportunity, please.)
If you're not ready for a full-time pet, this program allows nice Toronto peeps to hang with cats awaiting their “forever homes” for one hour each week. Anyone older than 18 can take time out to cuddle a cat at locations in Toronto and across the GTA, make sure they have fresh food and water, and just, you know, chill.
 

Suit Up.

Update your wardrobe and help a future boss queen in need by organizing a clothing drive with Dress for Success. Gather your friends and your gently used blazers, shirts, dress pants and purses - you know that super cute one you've never worn? Bring that! You can also donate time by sharing an hour of consulting skills in areas like investing, grant writing, marketing, PR and law. This is a whole lot easier than it looks, and you’ll most certainly be changing lives.
 

Make your Difference - Literally.

Meet Sketch, a social enterprise that couples studio and event space with the empowerment of homeless and marginalized youth. Every time your rent out their facilities - available to accommodate as many or as little guests as possible - you’re helping create opportunities in the arts for those who wouldn’t otherwise have it. Sketch’s impressive facility is equipped with a screen-printing studio, audio-recording studio, movement space and commercial kitchen, all available for booking to create unforgettable experiences for a great cause. 
 

Well, that's all, friends! Should you take the moment to use these resources or support these companies, let us know. Tag @Su.La.Po on the gram or email us directly - you know where to find us.