Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — Now that I have more down time (looking for work, but I’m not fiscally strapped), I would like to finally get around to giving back. My problem is I don’t really like groups and don’t see myself volunteering. I already know how to give money, what else can someone like me do? — Sort of Giving
Dear Sort of Giving,
That’s aswesome. I love that a “giving spirit” can still be embodied in someone who isn’t Warren Buffett or overly social. Caring comes in many packages. Nice modeling, Sort of Giving.
Face time and money are only two needs agencies and causes could do with — and don’t forget the old adage: Charity starts at home. Do you have any elderly, incapacitated or just-needs-a-hand neighbors or friends/family who you could help? That’s not just “a favor” given the average time-strapped schedule….or fear of “meddling.” Ask briefly, try to be consistent with the efforts.
I bet your skills list is still an untapped source of wealth that you can dip into and share from. Maybe you’re great at IT or something domestic (e.g., baking/for profits or pleasure or cooking for sustenance, sewing/mending and costumes, or similar like running errands for lots of folks or just one at a time in your vehicle), or bookkeeping/accounting or other fundamentally important administrative function necessary to keep any organization running smoothly. Organizing or coordinating are big time skills that someone’s supplies closet, computer file systems, or committees could use. Coordinating rides to doctors or mall walks for seniors/patients/any special interest group could be a godsend to overworked, understaffed folks. Would even putting in one more hour of what you do for a living for someone gratis would kill ya?, then check out your neglected hobbies and interests. Can you get bike rides, kite flies or hikes going? Enjoy reading? Could you use Garage Band or some other software to record some book podcasts for groups’ libraries and just give them to them?
Loosen up your Thinking Cap’s grip on your right brain and storm up your own godgiven talents, and then hands to it. It’s a direct path to your great heart that’s just waiting to be shared. Just start!
This Animal Whisperer says don’t forget the animals of Haiti.
Dear Sort of Giving,
In the immortal words of Vince Vaughn, “I like where your head is at!”
Giving takes many forms and does not only mean writing a check or hammering nails and giving out food. Donation and volunteering can take on many forms, but they all start with someone just wanting life to be a little more bearable for those who could use a hand.
You can give back by standing up for what you know is right. By supporting political action you can lend your voice to causes that you care about . Signing petitions online from reputable organizations like Feeding America, MoveOn.org, ACLU can help further legislation that can makes a difference. Sign up to receive email alerts and you can easily decide which campaigns deserve your signature and which do not—from the ease of your computer. Stopping in the grocery store parking lot to sign the petition to help groups get their legislation on the ballots helps shape the country live in through the prescribed channels set down by our forefathers. You as democracy in action can help change the world. And truly, every voice, every signature, every vote counts.
There are ways to volunteer without jumping into the middle of the crowd. Can you do some shopping? Buy some clothes for kids? SleepTrain Help Foster Children program has drives to collect kids’ clothing throughout the year. Sponsor a child through organizations like Save the children [link: Savethechildren.org] or Children Incorporated and watch how you improve a child’s life, health and education. A good friend of mine sponsored a child in Venezuela. She corresponded with the child and even went to visit. She felt like she was able to be that mentor/distant aunt who helped shape a more promising future for a little soul.
Now, of course, there is another avenue, we have not yet discussed. You are seeking work. Why not mix business and pleasure? Working for a non-profit whose work you believe in will allow you to use your skills to make money and help improve conditions in the world around you. Review the job board at Opportunity Nocs and see if this urge to give back may not be a call towards a new road of employment.
Juicy Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.
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