Yesterday I was up at 4:45am. It’s definitely not a time of the morning that I normally see (or normally want to see), but I was definitely willing to be up this time.
It was the day I was driving an hour north to Santa Ana with my husband to help on a Habitat from Humanity Orange County build. Western Digital, where he works, had set up a team to work at Habitat’s build site. We split into groups, and the team of 6 I worked with spent all day painting the kitchen, bathrooms, and upstairs rooms. In a little less than eight hours (and with a few extra people joining in to work on the stairs and living room)
we finished painting all of the house but the very top of the two-story high stairs. For my part, I was cutting in the upper corners of the room, so I spent all day on a ladder, small paint bucket and brush in hand. I had a blast! It was so rewarding to be able to see the results of my work as I did it – especially since my day job is mostly on the computer and never really seems to be done.
Volunteering has always been a big part of my life. Sometimes it’s been a big, public thing. Most of the time though, I’m behind the scenes. Walking dogs, helping with horse care and riding therapy, packing bags of food for the food pantry to hand out, handing out spacers and painting with Habitat for Humanity, quilting for church – just some of the things I’ve done over the years.
So many people think giving has to be monetary. Volunteering your time is just as valuable and oftentimes more needed, and you can give your time no matter what age or stage of life you’re in. I really do believe that volunteering gives you a sense of accomplishment and makes you appreciate what you have. It battles the sense of entitlement that everyone complains about. You get to meet new people and make new friends (I only knew my husband when I arrived, but got to meet a lot of really nice people).
Volunteering is a family-friendly activity. There are so many groups that could use volunteers, and many of them are right in your backyard. Just think of the things that you enjoy doing and find a group that needs your skills.
Do you already volunteer? What do you do? Or, if you don’t volunteer yet, what would you like to do?