I’ve been tagged by Jean Browman to write a post about caring, compassion and charity. I love the idea of sharing what we are passionate about, especially when it comes to helping others.
There are so many fabulous charities out there it’s really hard to choose just one or two. So I have to focus on those that have special meaning to me. My first choice is United Way’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program. I don’t have many special skills, but I do have time, and a love for children. For about 4 years I was a volunteer with my local BBBS in Florida.
Through this program I met a wonderful young girl and her family. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to help mentor and expand a young mind. Together you can explore your local museums, try new foods, or try a new craft or skill. There’s very little expense and when your little “brother or sister” smiles, thanks you, or gives you a hug for simply spending time with them, your heart will melt like mine did.
My second choice for worthy charity is your local animal shelter or SPCA. I volunteered with one for a short period of only a few months, and yet the experience has stayed with me ever since. I love all pets, but I have a special fondness for dogs. Their cuddly fuzzy bodies, wagging tails and sad eyes pull me in every time. The way they can share their love with everyone they meet is inspiring and touching. Many of them were abused, and all were neglected, yet they still wagged their tales and trust people.
By doing simple things like walking the dogs, or bathing and feeding them, I was able to help provide some of their basic care. I’ve learned a lot since my first time, and I’d love to help with their #1 issue – socialization. So many of the dogs are simply unfamiliar with the leash, and don’t know how to interact with other dogs or people. They jump, bark, and sometimes knock you over in their excitement. Simply working with one or two dogs a week could make a serious difference in their behavior and help find them a permanent home.
Finally, the last charity or organization would be your local library. Although I personally haven’t yet volunteered there, I try to support them in little ways. I go to the library weekly for books, movies, music and surfing the Internet. I participate in their fundraising efforts, use their online resources, and encourage others to read more and remind them of all that the library offers.
Ben Franklin is one of my heroes for being one of the main founders of public libraries. I find it fascinating that some people have never been to a library in their lives. Never picked up a book just for the fun of it, never browsed the magazines, or read a comic book. Libraries aren’t dull or boring unless you let them be. Read a cartoon book like Garfield or Calvin & Hobbes. Cruise the Internet and chat with your friends. Take home some music or a movie you’ve never seen. Support this wonderful organization in whatever way best suits you.
Whatever you love, find a way to pursue it. Lead a do-it-yourself dance at a nearby nursing home, clown around with children in the hospital, walk a dog or help feed the hungry. If you don’t know where to start many big cities have 211 or 311 numbers and online databases to help match your skills with charities that need your help.
Check out where this wonderful idea originated with Alex Shalman’s wonderful post.