A few days ago, Judy wrote about the joy of giving back. When you’ve been blessed with all the things we have, it’s not hard to give back to those in need. But giving away your “things” is not always enough. Giving your time is even more precious … and incredibly hard to do.
I’d like to sit here and write about all the ways I’ve been able to give my time toward helping others, but you’d be staring at a mostly blank page. Yet, I am inspired by friends I see on Facebook and elsewhere who are giving so much of themselves. Neighbors volunteer at their church or local clubs. It simply comes down to this … when you lead busy lives, you have to MAKE time to volunteer!
Where to start? Finding something you are truly passionate about is best. Years ago when I was working for a major homebuilder, we were approached by Habitat for Humanity to participate in one of its “blitz builds.” As a dedicated DIYer, I was personally intrigued by the idea and I pitched it to the boss. He agreed and we went all in. We invested hundreds of thousands of dollars, got suppliers to chip in, and made it an opportunity for anyone in the company to help out in the build. I was on-site all week, as were some of the company’s top executives. It’s truly humbling when you’re pounding a hammer between a CEO worth millions and the family members who were putting the “sweat equity” into their new home.
More recently, I’ve taken baby steps back into volunteering through our yacht club and its associated sailing foundation. I participated in a highway clean-up project with my fellow members. I’ve reclaimed fiberglassing skills from my youth (augmented with YouTube refreshers) to fix some of the boats used by the foundation to teach sailing to youth and adults. I’ve talked to one of the foundation’s board members about doing more of this kind of work.
These types of activities are fun for me, but also give me joy to know that I’m giving back to a sport that supported and shaped me in my youth. Will it save the world? Not likely, but it will help a few others, and that’s a start.
There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. Give your time to something you are passionate about along your journey.
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