My Time..

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum to the women and men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders.  Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”  ~Antoine De Saint-Exupery, The Wisdom of the Sands

I was once asked why I volunteer.. I replied… no money.. only time.  ~me

“The language of citizenship suggests that self-interests are always embedded in communities of action and that in serving neighbors one also serves oneself.” ~Benjamin R. Barber

I started volunteering as a candy striper when I was about 14 years old.  I thought back then it would be a good way to get a resume started and it was.  I enjoyed the experience and since that time I have spent time volunteering in every country I have visited or lived in and in all imaginable kinds of situations and organizations.  I have volunteered in soup kitchens, schools, theater groups, troubled teens organizations, orphanages, clean up projects, transportation for youth programs, juvenile diversion programs, youth groups, summer break and reading programs just to name a few.

“In every community, there is work to be done.  In every nation, there are wounds to heal.  In every heart, there is the power to do it.” ~Marianne Williamson

I have either volunteered or been somehow deeply affected or deeply helped by the following organizations and would highly recommend becoming a part of one of the below or for that matter any organization that donates its time to helping those who cannot help themselves.

Neighborhood Accountability Boards – Parent Project PLUR

Why else volunteer?  Health and happiness.  Make friends, be a part of a group. The more you give the more you receive.  There are true health benefits to volunteering.  Time spent helping others helps you put aside some of your own problems or even realize your problems might not be as big as you once thought.

This video is about volunteering in schools but I feel that it applies to all types of volunteering.

Someone asked me recently why I volunteered.. I smiled as these images ran through my head and recalled how much time I’ve spent and yet how much time I’ve gained.

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Cambodia, Korea, Venezuela – Kids and adults feeling good. Charity events, fundraisers, laughing, crying, giving sharing.  There is a thing called the cycle of poverty or crime or abuse.  There is also a cycle of giving or paying it forward. This is something I am just plain passionate about.  I’ve seen it change lives.  As much as you give you receive.

“But where was I to start? The world is so vast. I shall start with the country I know best, my own. But my country is so very large. I had better start with my town. But my town too is large. I had better start with my street. No, my home. No, my family. Never mind. I shall start with myself.” ~Elie Wiesel, “Souls on Fire”

Well what can I do you ask?  I’m not smart enough, strong enough, rich enough to do anything worthwhile.  Where would I start?  What would I do?  What if I don’t like it?  I say just do it.  Try it. Don’t give up on it.

It’s not always the easiest thing to do. But don’t give up. You just never know what will happen.


8 thoughts on “My Time..

  1. Thank You and Thank You! Just received your link from a caring friend who shares my passion for making a difference. Your blog and the few posts I have read are by far the most resourceful in helping ME make a difference. I recently created a FB group (not page) for our city called “Lincoln Nonprofit Coalition” which is serving several purposes. It fills the need for a “one-stop” place to post upcoming community events, provides opportunites to volunteer and allows groups to post success stories and photos. Volunteers or those who wish to volunteer are invited to join, which leads to people spreading messages onto their personal FB pages. I recently began writing for the local newspaper, and your blog has inspired me to write an article called “The Lincoln Thank Tank”… after of course I create a FB group with that name. So much to do, so little time. Thank you again for your wise words and inspiration. I have learned the importance of teaching others to “yearn for the vast and open sea”. Look forward to future posts.

    • Thank you good luck in your endeavors. I have always been a part of some volunteer situation. When I moved to Korea I “accidently” began visiting an orpahange there, which evolved into also visiting a soup kitchen and other random clean up projects. I didn’t realize it at the time but the week I first started volunteering was about the 2nd month that this organization existed. It was comprised mostly of ex-pats in the area but eventually was profiled in newspapers and such.. so my point is it doesn’t matter how it starts.. but someone needs to be the catalyst.. it chagned lives.. the name was PLUR – peace love unity and respect. I was very proud to be a part of it and was especially proud at how my daughters jumped in and grew so much from it. thanks for stopping by.

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