Being able to give back to our communities and to those who are struggling to get a leg up is one of the most important and meaningful gifts we can give to not only those in need, but to ourselves as well.
Many people feel as though being but one person there is very little they are able to contribute because they equate “giving back” solely with monetary contributions. And yet, though these contributions are paramount to helping the non-profit organizations in our communities, they are not singular.
Giving back also means affording of our time and expertise and in much respect is more important than the monetary aspects of charity. The sharing of oneself in this way provides the recipient with such a sense of self-worth…it gives them affirmation that they DO matter, that they ARE important…because another has made an effort to be present when all others are there through obligation.
Is volunteering challenging? It can be. Impossible? Not really.
Sometimes the most difficult part of volunteering is making that initial commitment, which is why is it so important to choose where we will donate of our time. We should always strive to make our promises and pledges to causes and issues that we feel passionate about, this way the giving of our time will feel as natural to us as the other areas in our life that are important.
There are many ways of manifesting our wish to “help”…
We can mentor, we can fundraise, we can advocate, we can teach, we can listen….
My personal experience and examples of my own philanthropic endeavors live very near and dear to my heart; having grown up in a household that at most times proved to be at the very least challenging and more often than not quite painful, when I was younger I recurrently wished for mentors and positive role models from which to pluck words of wisdom for my very hard learned lessons…but these are tales for another day..
And so with this reality of my past in mind, I have chosen to dedicate my free time and efforts to assisting the abused, neglected and at risk children of my community. I have embraced a few key charities that speak to me on a fundamental level for their stewardship and integrity. So I am frequently seen out fundraising on their behalf, advocating for their programs and projects, and trying to help change the life of child, even if only one at time….
Thus, I have also set up an online page which outlines my passion for helping the children of my community. On this page I offer links to my charity of choice, the Children’s Home Society of Florida, as well as the means for people to get involved, donate or simply share. http://championsforchildren.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1003776&lis=0&kntae1003776=C4C01AED573542F7BC259334159BE1D1&supId=386410906
So I would surmise to say, volunteerism not only builds community, it builds hope and morale. It can be a win, win for both the individual and the beneficiaries. And, the Chinese saying, “The scent of the rose remains on the hands of the giver” rings truer than ever when we realize that WE are its true recipients…