Saturday, September 24, 2011

Do Right #12: Volunteer

I was fortunate to grow up in a household where volunteering was a part of my life. My mother used to bring adults with downs syndrome to sunday school and then church with us every week. As a teenager, there was nothing more embarrassing than the crazy antics that would happen on a regular basis during the otherwise quiet church service, but my mother loved every moment she would see them and soon they became like family to us. My father was active in many volunteer organizations and was always attending a drive or holding an event for a non-profit. I spent many weekends working in the wrapping paper booth at the mall or going to a pancake breakfast somewhere.

It has become so much a part of who I am that I feel a little bit empty when I am not volunteering somewhere. I always recommend to people to volunteer for things you are passionate about, maybe it is children's causes, animals, the homeless, the environment, all of us are passionate about something and volunteering for those causes helps it bring even more meaning to us.

If you don't know where to start, look online, or walk into any non-profit in your neighborhood and see if they need help. Years ago, I walked into a senior living facility near my home and offered to volunteer. I have been there ever since and am now on the Foundation Board of that organization.

It feels great to know that you are helping your community and helping to make the world a better place. So start volunteering, get your family volunteering, the world needs your help!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Do Right #11: Be Grateful

I received some horrible news from a very dear friend yesterday. Her husband was diagnosed with colon cancer and given a life expectancy of just a few weeks. He is just 41 years old and has three young daughters.

I have heard many times before how cancer is a blessing to people because they really begin to appreciate everything they have in life. Having lost my mother to cancer, I believe this is true. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our work, our finances, our troubles, until something really tragic happens and the rest seems so small. We have so much to be grateful for. We are lucky to be able to get up and go to work every day, we could be sitting in a hospital bed day after day. We are lucky to be able to have the strength to get up out of bed and walk around each day. We are lucky to be able so sit in the sun, look out at the blue sky, birds flying and bugs crawling around. All those minute details of life we ignore from day to day.

So for all those people out there who truly are struggling and truly do need a miracle, let's be grateful for their sake. Grateful for what we do have, what we can do and the people we have in our life. Life is a short one, so take advantage of every day.