The aim of my Leisure for Less (LfL) posts are to share discoveries of fun activities to fill your time; without emptying your pockets. The posts are about having quality “me time” experiences. This LfL post may seem a little different, but I assure you, the end result is the same. In honor of National Volunteer Week, April 15, 2012 – April 21, 2012, I am encouraging folks to put meaning into their me time; by volunteering. I guarantee, you’ll have a quality me time experience when you give to others.
Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in. Author Unknown
If you are already engaged and sharing your abilities by volunteering – outstanding! If you are a lapsed volunteer, National Volunteer Week is a fine time to recommit to that charitable program; that project; that cause; that once engaged your heart, mind and time. If you are new to the concept of volunteering, next week is an opportunity to explore the many different ways you can make a contribution that benefits the “beloved community”.
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. Booker T. Washington
I wasn’t a candy striper in a hospital as a teenager and I didn’t spend my time tidying parks as a tyke. I didn’t get involved in volunteer activities until I was an adult; and truthfully, my motives were not altruistic. I started volunteering as a way to save my soul from a spirit sapping work experience. I was paid good money to do a job. Gratefully, that job allowed me to make deposits into my bank account, yet it was depleting my mental and spiritual reserves. I was earning, but I was paying a high price. Volunteering became a way to make deposits into my life account; and I am richer for it.
You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give. Winston Churchill
I identified my first volunteer assignments through the local agency New York Cares. I still work with them, but I also stay informed of opportunities via Idealist.org and Volunteermatch.org. The last 2 websites post information for volunteer opportunities around the country and around the world.
Wherever you live, there is bound to be an agency that can lead you to organizations in need of volunteers. A straight forward internet search with your hometown + “ volunteer opportunities” will yield results. Also many local governments maintain volunteer offices or departments of civic engagement that can be a good resource.
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth. Muhammad Ali
Find the mission that motivates you. Whether you can commit to a long-term assignment or you prefer a quick pop-in project; you can find something that fits the bill. Whether you want to help animals or people; you can find something that fits the bill. Weather you can write letters or stuff envelopes; you can find something that fits the bill. So, if you want to plant a tree or build a house; do it. If you want to cradle a baby or be a companion to a senior citizen; do it. There is a place for you to be of service. Your leisure for less time can also be priceless time.
Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Compassion + Caring For Others = Happiness (rainbowinclouds.wordpress.com)
- Volunteering (prestigiouslife.wordpress.com)
- Elevate Destinations: Volunteering In The Wake Of A Disaster: The Pros, The Cons And How To Do So Effectively (mybigearth.com)