Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Good of Giving Back

Although this is the time of year that makes a person more aware of the plight of others, volunteering your time to a good cause is something you can, and should, do year-round. I do not go into politics or religion on my blog, but I have an incredibly strong belief in practicing what you preach and in changing the things you can to make your world a better place. I have noticed what seems to me to be an increase in people I have contact with via social media, friends or otherwise, complaining about the state of things: politics, the community, etc.

My answer to them? It starts with you. I firmly believe that a person should not complain about the state of things if they are doing nothing to contribute to the betterment of their community. It starts at the bottom: your town, your block, your community.

Now, there are sooo many other reasons to volunteer. You can volunteer to help someone in need (two-legged or four-legged!), to contribute to your community, to accomplish a goal, or even to improve your perspective. I volunteer for all of those reasons. It is something that can be done alone or with a group of people. M and I do not have kids yet, but when we do, volunteering our time to help others and improve our community is something we will do as a family. I think it is very important to show children that there are others who are less fortunate than they are, and they can do something to help make another person's situation better.

I currently volunteer as a victim advocate for Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services. It is a tough job, but I love doing it. It is a very rewarding and humbling job. I go to the hospital and stay with a victim after experiencing a sexual assault. I inform them of the resources available to them and I provide comfort, company, an ear to listen, whatever they may need. My on-call time includes manning a crisis line and taking calls for victims or families of victims who need someone to talk to about the incident. I love it. If you happen to be in the Augusta, GA area and want to volunteer with Rape Crisis, you can contact Leah Klein, the volunteer coordinator: The next volunteer training is November 21-25.

There are so many different organizations that need help! You can volunteer at a food bank, a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, a women and children's shelter, pretty much anything! If you want to find out what opportunities are near you, you can go to VolunteerMatch.

I love the thought of the world being a better place thanks to everyone's contribution to their community!

Do you volunteer? I would love to hear about what you do to give back.

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