Trending for Summer: Community Service!

I’m absolutely human.  Fleshly, driven by desire and whatnot.  And from time-to-time by thoughts and ideas have led me astray, off my divine path.  I’ve gotten better at discerning my emotional thoughts and impulses from my logical ones and am finding the balance between the two.  It’s an ongoing process and it may be something that one struggles with for their entire earthly life.  A little outside of this, or beyond it…I’ve learned to listen to messages from the Universe (God…what/whoever you feel comfortable and secure with).  I find that if I refuse to recognize or listen to certain messages and lessons that I am forced to continually come face to face with them.  Sometimes this is a minor issue (I don’t look good in yellow)…sometimes it’s a major one (Bad boys ain’t no good, thanks Mary).  The more I listen to this little inner voice or sometimes major outside cue, the more success and growth I seem to see in myself.  And really who is a better judge of my own personal growth than me (Universe withstanding)? 

I’ve always been somewhat of a softie at heart always loving babies and old people and wanting to fight for those who are discriminated against, bullied or otherwise oppressed in whatever unfair fashion.  This is something I’ve been peripherally aware of for most of my teen and adult years but it’s not something I’ve actively channeled.  Well, here comes the Universe.  At my last two jobs, without requesting it I’ve been appointed Community Service Volunteer Coordinator or Community Service Lead (among other responsibilities).  I’ve really enjoyed it in both places and find it a little more than coincidence in the re-occurrence.  I’ve done Special Olympics, food drives, school supply drives, women’s shelters, children’s shelters etc.  and it’s all been rewarding….but I’m realizing that I personally need to begin committing more than 2 hours a month to the array of needs in my community.  This is for so many reasons, first and foremost being to meet those needs of others and groups of others who are really so much bigger than just me alone.  Here are a few reasons, according to http://www.worldvolunteerweb.org as to how community service/ volunteering benefit you and the community:

  • You can learn or develop a new skill

               -I’m learning tricks and trades of cleaning!  Ask my mom, this is not something that comes   naturally for me, but it is an absolutely necessary evil.  Also, organizing and leading these events are teaching me organization and leadership skills!

  • Be part of your community

              -This goes along with the series I’m doing on discovering Columbia.  For so long since I moved back to Columbia I’ve complained (usually to myself at least) that I’m lonely…but I’ve been doing not much beyond the basics to make myself a part of this city!  And I’m giving back to my my community by enriching the lives of their children, women, pets, special needs community etc.  Even if it is just in the form of cleaning a kitchen….with budget cuts becoming an epidemic most organizations have a hard enough time paying enough employees to keep things running not to mention finding time to clean or money to pay someone to clean.  Again, this is such a basic need that a volunteer can help meet.

  • Motivation and Sense of Achievement

             -As a volunteer you are giving  your time freely for no other reason than the fact that you are motivated to help make your community a better place to live free and happy and safe!

  • Boost your Career Options

             -94% of employers find that volunteering can add to skills

             -73% of employers would hire a candidate with volunteer experience over one without one

                                 Boom.

  • New Experiences

              -Every time I volunteer, I encounter someone or something that broadens my mind and my perspective, sometimes just a little bit and sometimes in a major way.  Most recently, I was reminded of how fortunate I am to have a support system in my family.  For some unfortunate people, this isn’t a reality for them.  Imagine having to pick yourself up from your personal bottom with no one who loves you there to give you a boost?!  Those of us who are gifted with this are so fortunate and those who weren’t need and deserve all the love and respect they can get from this sometimes unforgiving world.

 

My most recent experience was this past Saturday at The Nurturing Center in downtown Columbia, SC.  I worked with the volunteer coordinator to deep clean and scrub the kitchen in their building (a beautiful, historic well-kept building, by the way)…a task that I have a hard time motivating myself to do in my own home was somehow no longer an inconvenience when I knew I was doing it to help, in some small way, the children who have been neglected and abused who come to this shelter and also their parents…whose stories I don’t know, couldn’t understand and won’t judge.  It touches something deep inside of you, a part that I don’t think is human and fleshly…a place of pure love that I believe to be divine.  I encourage everyone who reads this to do something that isn’t for them….no matter how small and see for yourself the unselfish gratification that goes beyond anything a new purse, car or even jet can provide.  All those things come and go, but love and the human spirit reverberate into eternity.Image

Me in all my no makeup, 9:30am on a Friday ,5 hours of sleep, rainbow turban glory.  Whether I looked it or not, I felt beautiful.

               –

 

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