I absolutely love doing whatever I can in terms of giving back, volunteering and helping someone in need. It seems hard to believe that anyone wouldn’t want to do these things. We’re all on this Earth together and instead of treating each other badly, we should be doing everything we can to help one another, especially when it comes to helping those who may be going through some tough times.
You don’t have to be rich or have a ton of extra time to spare – most of us don’t have those luxuries anyway – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still help out. There are lots of volunteer opportunities no matter where you live, and I have a few ideas that may help you get started.
One of the first things I remember doing to get started with volunteer type work was picking up litter. I try to do this once every fall before winter comes, and once after winter when all the snow has melted. Sure, it’s not the most glorious job, but when you stop to consider how disgusting it is that garbage just gets strewn around the Earth like it’s no big deal, it’s pretty easy to see that this is definitely something worth investing some time for. You don’t even have to sign up with any sort of program to do this – just grab some gloves to protect your hands and some garbage bags, and off you go. You can do this anywhere – your local school, park, downtown, wherever you want. America alone generated 251 million tons of trash in 2006 (that statistic alone makes me nauseous), and that amount has only risen since then.
Picking up litter alone certainly isn’t going to help change this fact, but at least it’s helping control the amount of trash spread around and there are a few other important reasons to take into consideration as well. Litter can cause blockages of drainage systems, get into waterways and potentially kill aquatic life, it can harm animals such as birds who may choke on the debris, and it even encourages illness. Helping clean up litter also shows you take pride in the world you live in, which is pretty sensible considering it’s where you’re walking around and breathing every day.
The great thing is, not only are you being a good person and doing something out of the kindness of your heart simply to help someone else and hopefully make their day a bit brighter, but you’re doing it without the thought of any reward in mind. That’s the important part. We are always doing things for ourselves, and it’s a really wonderful thing to do things for others for once, without expecting anything in return.
We all think “I’m just one person, can anything I do really make a difference?” The answer is YES. Of course it can. If everyone thought that way, nothing would ever get done. We all think it won’t matter, or that we can’t find the time to do these sorts of things. The thing is, if we all alter our attitudes and MAKE the time, we truly can change the world. The littlest things can mean so much, and what really matters, no matter how simple or small you think what you’re doing is, at least you’re doing it.
Donating scarves, coats and other warm items to shelters during winter, offering food to food banks, getting started with a program like Big Brothers Big Sisters, or giving blood to blood banks; these are just a few easy examples of ways you can help out and make a difference.
Spend some time looking into how you can help others in your community and in general. You’ll not only be doing something amazing for someone else, but you’ll also feel pretty good yourself too. Have you done any volunteer work before? Do you have any ideas you’d like to talk about? I’m always looking for new ways to hopefully help out someone however possible, so please share!