Wednesday, 11 May 2016

#5 Embrace giving back ~ Volunteer

Don't keep it all for yourself, think about giving something back - why not try volunteering?

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.

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." - Aesop

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!)

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Don't keep it all for yourself, think about giving something back - why not try volunteering?

34 comments:

  1. Like you, I've volunteered over the years too. It is a satisfying feeling to know we do make a difference in people's lives. What a wonderful thing your doing for that little boy. As a teacher, you are impacting him greatly.

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    1. It takes so little time to be someone special to someone in need - and you both benefit from it.

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  2. I started volunteering after my ex wife and I separated. It's a very rewarding experience!

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    1. It is indeed Gary - and good for your heart (especially if it's been stomped on a bit!)

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  3. I enjoy volunteering my time, it always leaves me feeling so much better. Being able to financially help at least a little bit, feels good too.

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    1. I agree Doreen - we try to work on the idea of tithing - 10% of our finances and something similar with our time.

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  4. I meet every Thursday morning with a small group of women at a local Panera Bread. Sometimes we just come to chat and other times we do charitable events and projects. We call ourselves Sweet Charities of the San Fernando Valley and we haven't missed a week since about 2008. It always feels good knowing we've helped in some way.

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    1. I think that's wonderful Rebecca - eight years of consistently doing something for others is definitely an achievement!

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  5. Love this - and you are right - look at what you enjoy doing. There are always groups that can use your skills and passions!

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    1. for me it's babies Cathy, but at the time being it's school aged children. I'm not good with the elderly, so I leave that to others with more patience!

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  6. Your posts are always straight from the heart full of authenticity. Your are always so positive and that's why I love to read them.

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    1. Thanks so much Rena/Carol! It's lovely to have you stopping by no matter which hat you're wearing for the day :)

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  7. I gain a lot of emotional satisfaction from volunteering at a community legal centre, every fortnight. My hard-won legal knowledge and skills are still useful, and it's rewarding to be able to help people in real need. My 'life experience' and 'older' outlook are actually an asset that people appreciate! Thanks for this post.

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    1. I think maturity and life experience are huge assets Lisa - as are legal skills that people can access without having the usual stash of cash necessary to get help from a lawyer.

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  8. Volunteering is something on my list Leanne but at the moment I don't seem to have the time. I do think that helping others brings such satisfaction and richness to our lives. I quite like working with children so might approach our local public school to help with reading.

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    1. Listening to reading is a big thing now days Sue because so many parents are at work and can't come in to help (like we did in the 'good old days'. Having someone patiently listen and praise is such a bright time for kids.

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  9. What a beautiful thing you are doing. I'm sure that's going to leave a loving mark on that child forever. It's so wonderful paying it forward where we can. God bless!

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    1. Thanks Carolann - I hope I'm making him feel a little bit special - he seems to really enjoy our time together and his teacher says he is coping better in school, so I feel like I'm making a positive mark for now :)

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  10. I am so with you. Nothing feels better than giving back and if everyone realized that, the world would be a better place!

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    1. Yes Lois - imagine if everyone thought about what they could give instead of what they can get!

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  11. How wonderful, Leanne! You don't have to have a lot to give a lot. I bet you're making a huge difference in that little boy's life - go you!

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    1. thanks Emma - I'm hoping he will feel special and that will grow his self confidence.

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  12. Wonderful and so very true. I'm like you volunteering at my daughter's school but after she graduates will be looking for my next volunteer gig.

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    1. I think times change in your life and what attracts your interest Rosie and that's when you start looking at other areas to use your time and talents.

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  13. What a beautiful and unique blog you have! Short, but powerful statements to reflect on are a very welcome respite in this crazy world!
    I have volunteered all of my life. I now am finding satisfaction in directing grandchildren to give back. It is very satisfying!

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    1. Hi J - thanks so much for your lovely compliment about my blog - I hope you pop back for another visit and we get to know each other - grandchildren are just the best aren't they? :)

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  14. It's lovely that you spent time helping out and volunteering. I would love to do more but it's hard to find time between everything. I do try and do my bit where I can though.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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    1. I think there are times in our lives when we have more free time and can volunteer - other times we give of our finances or in some other way Sally :)

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  15. Shamefully, I stopped volunteering some years ago. Strange that I had a conversation today with someone, who, like me, has people with disabilities in her life. But she provides a service to people with disabilities that would be impossible for her to do without people volunteering to help out. Pretty sobering. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Maybe this is all getting you thinking again Alana because something will come along soon that interests you and you want to engage in - keep your eyes open :)

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  16. Giving back is such a rewarding experience for both giver and receiver. And done with no agenda, its double rewarding. Thanks for sharing at the Bloggers Pit Stop. Such Fun

    Pit Stop Crew

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    1. thanks for stopping by Julie x

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  17. Giving back is so important and a wonderful way to be happy, ironically. We're our best selves and that always feels good. Thanks for the reminder.

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  18. Great message - definitely good to give back with what you have, whether that's money or time. What a lovely thing to volunteer for - I would love to do something like that.

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