As I’ve mentioned before, my job is a bit crazy. I travel a lot, I often work very late and weekends are not out of bounds.
Not having a normal schedule has always kept me from volunteering as often as I’d like. I can’t easily make a commitment to do something regularly because I could be sent anywhere or be thrown into an evening meeting with little notice.
What does this all have to do with this post? A few years ago I decided, if I can’t give my time in the way I’d like, I would donate money. I’ve raised money over the years for races, or for groups that I belong to, so when others ask, I almost always give. And having worked in non-profit development for a year before realizing it was not meant for me, I’m actually pretty good at convincing others to give, as well.
For example, at the time of the shooting in Newtown, CT, I lived less than two hours from the site. Within a day, I’d reached out to the associates in the various leadership programs where I work, and asked for donations to support the first responders, and the counselors who were helping families. By the end of that week I’d received nearly $5000; that was enough to buy meals for telephone counselors for a week, and still donate to a number of first-responder and family organizations.
I’ve donated to more cancer organizations than I can count, after losing my grandmother after a 14 year battle, its my number one priority. But I’ve supported everything from HIV/AIDS groups to charter schools, basically anything that helps others.
Don’t get me wrong, I volunteer time when I can. I helped put together and deliver Make-A-Wish wish granting bags to more than a dozen kids in the Hartford area. For the last 5 summers I’ve volunteered bagging fresh produce for a local foods share program. I can say, I look forward to having a more normal schedule where I can donate time and my professional skills to help organizations in need.
For me, giving back, whether financially or with time, makes me feel amazing. It’s nice to know that I have been blessed and can give back, hoping if something in my life we to change, someone would help me. Research has even shown that giving back helps to keep you healthy, and can even add extra years of life to older adults.
So what’s my most recent way of giving back? My friend Emma over at A Mom Runs this Town is raising money for Every Mother Counts. She’s been working so hard to raise money, and even used her social media prowess to donate her own money for every new follower on Twitter and Facebook.
Still, she’s not quite there, so today, I helped her out a little. It’s been a crazy but amazing few weeks for me, and this was something I could do to give back to the world that’s given me so much.
How do you give back to this wonderful world?
What is the most random charity you have helped or donated to?
Have you ever raised money for a race? Which race and which charity?
And here’s yet another hint on my big news (I swear I will eventually tell you, it’s just taking longer to be able to announce than expected)