These are tumultuous times. Times when battles fought and won long ago once again find themselves at the forefront of public debate. When the line between fact and fiction is becoming more and more difficult to discern. And when discourse is frequently stifled by discord.
I, for one, am feeling very frustrated by it all.
That kind of frustration can leave people feeling disengaged, disenfranchised, and (at least in my case) discombobulated. In fact, as I write this message and reflect on the goings-on over the past several months, I can feel my stress level increasing (is anyone else out there craving chocolate right now?).
I believe working in the non-profit world is both an enormous privilege and a tremendous responsibility. Those of us fortunate to work in this world have the unique opportunity to view society through two different lenses: the lens of those in-need, and the lens of those who help meet their needs. As a result, doing what we do is both humbling and gratifying.
On a daily basis, we are reminded of just how precious–and how elusive–the simplest things in life can be for the most vulnerable among us: A hot, nutritious meal. Warm clothing and shoes that fit. A safe, stable place to sleep at night. A toothbrush and toothpaste. A job that pays a living wage. The opportunity to provide for one’s family.
Straight-forward things. Inauspicious things. Everyday things that many of the rest of us frequently take for granted.
As I reflect on the goings-on of late–and the myopic, mirror-focused view that seems so prevalent in our society right now–I wonder, who is thinking of these people? Who is focused on ensuring that these most basic needs are being met? Who is willing to set aside petty (usually political) differences to help meet the needs of the those who are hurting?
The fact is, WE ARE.
And therein lies the answer. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, wringing our hands, pointing our fingers, and waiting for others to refocus their priorities and begin behaving better, non-profits are providing a means for people to begin changing the world again–NOW. We know who needs help–and we know what needs to be done. What’s missing is our collective capacity to meet the vast array needs of so many diverse people at the same time.
That’s where YOU come in.
If you’re feeling frustrated, disenfranchised, and even a bit discombobulated by all this tumult, do yourself a favor and VOLUNTEER. Read to a classroom full of kids. Plant an urban garden. Distribute food at a local food pantry. Visit a frail, home-bound senior. Connect a family to healthcare resources.
Do something. Anything.
Volunteers bring light, hope, and help into a world that for many is filled with darkness, hopelessness, and helplessness. There are hundreds of local non-profits, schools, houses of worship, and other community groups that can use your help right now. You don’t have to have a lot of time. You don’t have to have a lot of training. You don’t have to have a lot of money. You just have to want to make a difference.
Research shows that serving others is good for your health. It’s good for your mental acuity. It’s good for your emotional well-being. And it’s good for your community.
April is National Volunteerism Month–but you don’t have to wait until then to get started. Give us a call today at 303-4BOOMER and we’ll be happy to help you find the right volunteer opportunity for you–even if it’s not with us!
So get out there. Get involved. Be the light. And volunteer.
You never know–the world you change may be your own . . .