Welcome to the Second Sunday….sounds ominous doesn’t it? Really it isn’t. I have set Sunday’s aside to blog about being helpful in one way or another. Last weeks blog was about Best Friends and how they can help you and you can help them. This week I want to touch on ways you can help others in a small way…and make a big difference. There is a feeling you get when you help someone…it is like a little rush…I have felt that rush plenty of times in my volunteering ‘career’.
First, assess your time or financial commitment. What do you have to give? For me the financial commitment needs to be balanced with a time commitment. I am not made of money or time but I can sure figure out a balance of the two.
Second, what do you love? Do you like to help seniors? the poor? kids? nature? or pets? Google is a great place to find a local charity. I donate time to my church, I donate money to church and to West Town Bikes (full disclosure my brother works for this non-profit that provides programs to kids in Humbolt Park in Chicago). I donate time to St. Baldricks, my daughters school, Special Olympics and I am a sucker for a raffle.
Third, keep at it…it’s easier to start than to continue. As friends have a charitable event I join in when I have time. Your volunteering could be as simple as picking up an extra bag of dog food (drop it off at a local animal shelter or animal control office) or some extra grocery items and drop them off at a local food pantry.
I commit to a few events each year, your list may be very different…that is what makes the world go around.
- Tour de Fat is a fantastically fun event that raises money for specific not-for-profits. The beneficiary depends on the city. I dress up and go hang out and volunteer my time…as a bonus there is ‘bemusement’…trust me you need to see that.
- Charitable 5Ks…I am not a runner per se, I tried to train up from a 5K to a Half Marathon and that did not go well. Instead I run short distance, fun runs, especially those that have charity beneficiaries.
- St. Baldrick’s is a good time, the funds raised go to support researching a cure for Pediatric Cancer. Each individual St. Baldrick’s event is held by a core group of people like a school, Police & Fire Departments or family of a Cancer Survivor or Victim. These events are looking for participants (shave your head!), volunteer to sell raffle tickets or man a booth and attendees to watch and participate in the raffles and activities…these events are scheduled around St. Patrick’s Day each year.
Feel free to find your own joyous way to help others. Remember how much the small step that you take makes a large difference.