So this week I have had this conversation several times. I made the statement that “I don’t mind volunteering, I don’t always need to be paid to feel a sense of accomplishment.” The person I was talking to began to feel my forehead to see if I had a fever. No I don’t mind volunteering for a worthy cause because at the end of the day, if we don’t do it, who will. I believe that we can change the world one volunteer at a time. I don’t think that in my present life, that I have been as blessed and fortunate as I have been because I did not give my time to others. I think that volunteerism makes for a terrific person that they would give selflessly of their time and energy to help someone else. I was raised to take care of others and I think that’s what I do with the countless organizations that I volunteer for. From the Democratic party, to donations of excess items to others and to the food bank, to my work with the United Nations Foundation Shot@Life initiative, I feel that these things align with my beliefs. The list is just a few people who I work with. The list goes on and on.
In 2011 when my job ended, I did what every parent does, I went out and searched for a new job. One day I realized that the excess time that I was spending doing nothing could be channeled into helping others. I have always given of my time, but I have more so now than I ever have. Volunteering not only helps build strong character, it also looks great on a resume. Filling in space when you are not employed or you are underemployed makes a significant difference than having huge blanks. Even while getting an education, volunteering or as we refer to it, “Service learning”, makes a stronger student. It’s a win win for the community as well as for the student. So this summer, I am not going to travel, but I’m going to volunteer where I can. I am going to spend time showing my children the beauty of the reward of giving and expecting nothing in return. What better gift right?