With the oncoming holiday season, Section 5 of the Master Key System reminds me of some valuable blessings and lessons. When I give from my heart with love in whatever I am doing, I get so much back! And one way to give back to the universe, to your community, is to volunteer. Especially now.
Curious, how many people actually DO volunteer anymore? According to our coach, Mark J, if you aren’t volunteering now, you probably won’t later. So if you have it in your DMP or plans for your future to get involved as a volunteer, Do It Now! I took that to heart and found out it really doesn’t take that much.
“In recent years, the percentage of Americans volunteering has dwindled and is now at its lowest level in a decade,” according to Daniel Zender, in an article published in Newsweek. “The overall impact of volunteering is significant. By one estimate, all those volunteer hours add up to around $175 billion worth of services, an important benefit to society as a whole for which no one has to pay. With volunteering on the decline, perhaps it’s time to pay attention to an area of the economy we usually take for granted.”
Back in my Coast Guard days, I had the great fortune to work with the most talented female historian and archivist I’ve ever met. Valarie Kinkade taught me so much about volunteerism as well as historical preservation. One of the guidelines she advertised was the 5/5 rule. Give $5 a week and/or 5 hours a month. That turned out to be extremely doable, and I try to stick with that even now.
The opportunities are abundant! You can volunteer, as I do, helping to feed the hungry around our country. There are soup kitchens, church community meals and organizations like Harvesters that always need help packing food, preparing food, collecting food, fund raising, or any number of other activities.
If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can find on-line thousands of opportunities. You can assist in cleaning spills and environmental trash; animal shelters, hospitals, churches, schools, libraries, big organizations like Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, or thousands of others. Who needs you? There are children, seniors, homeless, teens, the unemployed, the homeless, people with medical issues, who have suffered loss of one sort or another, and those who are just trying to make things better.
You can volunteer in sports, environmental areas, education, conservation, community service, health, arts, construction, tourism, global, farming, disaster recovery, just about any interest you have, there’s a volunteer need to match.
Don’t have money? Give time. You’ll find amazing connections with people of common interests to just enjoy time with, or make connections that can lead on to other things.
I had the phenomenal privilege to volunteer as an usher at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts over the last 5 years, and the friendships and other gifts that came back to me still blow my mind. I have been able to see performances that I never would have enjoyed previously. I have been invited to step up into a paid position to help tide me over during my career transition. I have made connections through this organization that have added so much richness into my life, I will always be grateful. I have stood in Brandmeyer Hall and watched the most spectacular natural light shows amble by, thunderstorm after thunderstorm. I’ve witnessed the lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas tree at Crown Center from the balcony lobby of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and had a view of the fireworks that you can’t get anywhere else in the city. That place is such a treasure for me and I am so grateful to be a part of the organization.
The Kauffman Center is looking for additional volunteers and I invite anyone who wants to help make events special for others, and wants a deep connection to a fabulous organization to check it out. Just click on these words for more information.
So the next time I find myself whining about what I don’t have, I can just focus on Haanel’s lesson in 5-25, “Unless we give, the channel is obstructed and we can receive no more. This is true on every plane of existence and in every field of endeavor and all walks of life. The more we give, the more we get.” So go ahead, give more, get more!
Well-written post, Day.
I never thought about all the benefits which come with volunteering, including of course, Haanel’s lessons.