Last week I watched news clips and saw pictures on Facebook of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in the northeast region of the U.S. Many families went several days without electricity, gas was rationed, and people were out looking for the simple things we often take for granted- like food. After the hurricane I was so happy to see people get fired up and giving back, doing what they could for the folks who were impacted. From the Disney channel donating millions, to the person who could spare only $5, people began to come together to give a helping hand.
Here’s the great thing about giving back- it doesn’t have to be about the money! Giving your TIME is priceless.
I was proud to see everyone coming together and it reminded me of other points in America’s past where people rallied together to help a part of the country that experienced some form of devastation. Makes me proud to be an American!
Giving back is a big part of who I am. As I go through my journey of paying off debt and building wealth, I always want to make sure giving is a part of that equation. Whether I’m donating to charities, giving back to my church (tithing) or volunteering my time, I think it’s important to keep giving at the forefront of my mind. I have a personal goal of giving back at least 10% of my income (right now I’m only at 5%) and volunteering part of my time. I like working with kids and seniors- so that may be something I look into soon…maybe be a mentor…
I almost think it’s easier to give money than to volunteer time for a lot of people, including myself. I get pretty wrapped up with life’s tasks that it would be a bit of a challenge to stop my norm and spend my time for the benefit of someone else.
Where do you find the time?
Sometimes I question whether 24 hours is really enough time in a day! I know it’s been this way for millions of years…but really, couldn’t we all use another hour or 2?? Since adding hours to the day probably won’t happen, I’m really beginning to look at where I’m spending my hours in a day. I’ve noticed that I burn a lot of hours watching other people’s “reality” t.v.! One hour spared away from the Real Housewives can certainly go for a greater good- LOL!!!
How do I find a place to volunteer?
Well, I know the area I would like to work in- with kids- so I’m going to do a google search on nonprofit organizations that service children (preteens) and/or senior citizens. I know there are places like the boys and girls club that are always looking for volunteers and potential mentors and food drives that need drivers to deliver food to senior citizens. I can start there.
Are there other ways to give besides with money and time?
Of course there are! You’ll find a ton of charities and nonprofits that are looking for canned goods, clothing, Christmas gifts for underprivileged children, and even furniture and charities to donate a car! This time of year you really don’t even have to search far to find ways to donate. The Goodwill is always looking for almost anything you can spare.
There are so many options and opportunities to give back, even if it’s paying the toll for the person behind you. I’ve learned that you reap what you sow. Giving back helps another individual, making this world just a little better. Hey, if I can make just one person have a better day, I was a success!!!
With all the many ways to give back, what are some of your favorites? What gets you fired up and how do you go about giving back? Do you donate to charities or do you volunteer your time (or both!)?