The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others
For 10 years, I volunteered and sponsored an annual fundraiser event for childhood cancer research on behalf of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. I found the St. Baldrick’s Foundation through a volunteer site and wanted something I could do together with my daughter (against her will at first!) that involved children. I’m so very proud of my daughter, although she was not interested at first, it was an opportunity for her to learn about some of the struggles that children face, and how we could make even a small difference, and year after year, she was by my side helping. I can’t even begin to describe what this experience has done for me. I met some of the most amazing people that became lifelong friends, just simply sharing my time. Although during this time I was very sick, I just kept going. I pushed through tasks that come easy to others, but were difficult for me. I needed to keeping moving forward, to help others who couldn’t help themselves, who had more difficult challenges to face then I did. The friendships that were created through the years will be bonded forever. Check out this link to see how you can be involved and make a difference for a child. https://www.stbaldricks.org
Giving of my time as a runner assisting at water stations, cheering and/or handing medals to finishers is very rewarding, especially seeing the smiling faces of those crossing the finish line for the first time, whether it is their first race, returning after an injury or illness, or maybe running their best race. The look of these brave and inspiring runners is the epitome of not giving up, the desire to just keep moving and just do and be the best they can. As a business owner, and runner, giving of my time attending and/or sponsoring local events allows me to give back to my communities. This year I had the opportunity to sponsor several local race events, as well as volunteer with a team fundraising for fallen heroes, which provides holiday gifts to children of soldiers who have passed in the war, or suffered from PTSD. A kind word, a hug, an acknowledgment and understanding means more than you know to someone. Be kind, always, you never know what someone is going through.
How about you? Do you volunteer locally, throughout the US or Internationally? Did you know that you can find out if a destination you are traveling to is sponsoring a local school or event? Some resort destinations, through the assistance of volunteers, provide school supplies to help a local school. When we travel, we can indeed help others and help to keep them moving forward.
Support while traveling
There are many reasons to volunteer while you’re traveling and there are literally thousands of charities and organizations that look for help from passing travelers. For example, the Maui Humane Society has the “Helping Paws” program where visitors can come spend time with the animals. Some, who are staying on Maui for a longer time, can actually “temporarily adopt” a dog or cat for their whole stay. Most end up taking them home with them at the end. Churches also offer mission trips and encourage members to participate as a group, usually in some specific area such as building a school.
We may not have a lot of time to give, but maybe if we each look for some small opportunity, we can all make a difference. The next time you take a vacation, consider asking what you can do to help. We are happy to assist you in learning about these opportunities as you plan your vacations. Have you ever participated in a program that you would like to share? Let us know and we will put it “out there” for all to see!
Let’s make a difference together and help others to just keep moving!