By Jackie White
Giving back is something almost all of us desire to do. Our intentions to give a hand to those in need are honorable and truly heart-warming. There is only one problem and that is that many of us don’t make it a priority to regularly give back. It’s understandable, we are all busy and it’s easy to fall off the radar of our lives, but let’s work to get ourselves back into our communities helping those in need. It’s important to help others and what is incredibly cool about volunteering is that by helping another, the love boomerangs right back to you filling you with joy. Case and point: remember how the Grinch’s heart grew 3 sizes when he started to feel the love again? Yours can too! (Ok, I know the Grinch isn’t real, but the effect of helping others is!)
Now, maybe you didn’t know, but April is National Volunteer Month, it’s a great time to push community service back up to the top of your to-do list. If you are someone who already volunteers your time, thank you, and know that your efforts do not go unnoticed!
National Volunteer Month celebrates the impact volunteers have on the lives of so many. It also encourages each of us to stand up and lend a hand in the name of those in need and act as a role model for generations to come. It’s staggering to think of just how many volunteers there are keeping America (and the world) going! Here are a few examples:
Schools: The many volunteers in the classroom helping students, in the lunchroom opening those cartons of milk, watching the kids on the playground, or those providing free tutoring after school fill needed roles in schools.
Kid’s Activities: There are countless coaches giving hours of their time each week. Working with children to help them be a part of a team. There are scout leaders managing activities, campouts, and/or fundraising events like cookie sales. Each of these and more enhance children’s childhoods.
Religious Organizations: It takes many volunteers to run a church service from the servers to the choir, to the person handing out bulletins and organizing church functions.
Non-Profits: So many non-profits are run with a dedicated volunteer staff. These people are at the heart of helping those in need. They provide connections to help those in need, food, shelter, and even provide Christmas and Birthday gifts.
Red Cross: Holy mackerel this is a big one. Running a blood drive, donating items, and helping in a crisis situation.
Hospitals: Volunteers rock sick babies in the ICU so their parents can take a break, they provide support or meals to families with a sick family member, they stop by the children’s hospital rooms and paint nails, or provide something fun for them to do. Therapy dog teams make the rounds to put a smile on patients’ faces.
Animals: Speaking of therapy animal teams, there are thousands of people committed to caring for shelter animals. They work with them and give them love in a place where they are alone. Some risk their own safety rescuing these needy animals.
Helping others in some capacity is generous and compassionate, but beyond that, it can fill up your heart. It boomerangs right back to you with a shot of goodness for your soul. It makes you feel good about yourself because you are doing for others things that they may not be able to do for themselves. You directly or indirectly are spreading love and goodness to all by helping and by demonstrating to others that everyone has something they can give. You see, giving back is what life is all about. Sharing your gifts, talents, creativity, muscle, thoughtfulness or time is what we are supposed to do with those things.
Think of it this way, your gifts are someone else’s favor. For example, if you are a talented singer and you never sing, then why were you given that talent? Singing for some senior citizens at a nursing home would brighten their day and warm your heart. What if your talent was that you love to plan events? Could you share that talent with a scouting group and set up amazingly cool field trips for them? Maybe your talents lie in writing, could you help a non-profit with their copywriting for their group? There is so much you can give, but the dang truth is, if you breathe, you can find a way to help others!
Take the Boomerang Give-Back Challenge!
Take a moment to figure out how you can help another this month. Maybe the list above can give you some ideas, or you might already know how or who you can help. One other resource is to check out VolunteerMatch.org for a huge database of specific groups who need help.
Here is the challenge: We want to challenge each of you to just do something, big or small, it doesn’t matter. How can you help out another? We want to hear about it! Take pics! Post them on @SoulshineDreamAcademy on Facebook and tag it with #Boomerang. Let us know what you did and how it made you feel!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.