There comes a time in life when you come up for a breath of air and realize that you have all you need and a little bit left over. For some that means they need to keep working until the little bit left over becomes a bigger and bigger bit......for others of us it means that we can slow down a little and look at how we can give something back.
Giving back is a reward unto itself. When we give with no hidden agenda, we get to invest in the lives of others and although we may not see the end results, we know that we did something that helped and possibly made that person's life a little easier or a little better.
We've never had a lot of spare cash, so donating a little bit of money here or there is about as much as I can manage financially. However, what I do have is spare time. I don't work full time and I have spare hours in the week that I can use to make a small difference in the world.
When I had young children, it meant volunteering at their school, listening to children read, covering library books, being part of the P&C (I think that's the PTA in America) and being the secretary for a local community group. As the kids got older, I branched out a little bit more and started caring for newborn twins or triplets for half a day a week - through the Red Cross Family Support program. I just loved the interaction with those babies and the added bonus of giving their mums a little bit of head space for a few hours.
Now I'm back to helping at my local primary school where I mentor a young boy who has a bit of an unsettled family life and just needs someone to show some interest in him and make him feel special. So easy for me to do that for an hour or so each week, and so nice to know that it makes him a little more secure and confident.
There are so many varieties of ways to volunteer your time - so many areas where an added pair of hands would make a difference. I found the easiest way for me was to look at what I enjoy doing and see if there was a place where I could put that to good use. There are volunteer organizations everywhere who are waiting with open arms for helpers to volunteer - why not hook up with one and spread a little bit of love around (or I'm sure they'd be happy to take your money too - if you have some to spare!)