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Help Others & Help Yourself

Help Others & Help Yourself

August 21, 2023
Have you ever helped someone, volunteered somewhere or made a sacrifice for the benefit of another and walked away from that experience NOT feeling better?  It would likely be impossible to find someone who has not felt better after such an experience.  If volunteering and helping others leaves us feeling better mentally and emotionally, why don't we do it more often?  What is holding us back? Probably for many of us we are so busy that it's not something that we are intentionally thinking about each day. But for some it might be a matter of not knowing where to start or who actually needs help.
If this is you and you aren't sure where to start or who needs help, here are a couple of suggestions to begin:
  • Start with your neighborhood...are any elderly people living by themselves and may need help with bringing their trash cans in each week or having a home cooked meal dropped off occasionally?  Are there any single moms that might appreciate an anonymous bag of groceries being left at their door? There are very likely people in your neighborhood that could use help and you just don't know it.  Next time you drive through your neighborhood or go on a walk look around and see what you notice.  Talk to other neighbors and learn about who else lives around you that you might not know yet.  Ask questions to find out more about the needs of those that live around you.
  • Next, think about the injustices that make you the most frustrated.  You may have a long list and in fact, sometimes feeling overwhelmed by too many needs can leave us paralyzed and doing nothing.  Remember that you can't tackle everything so determine the top 2-3 things that keep grabbing your attention the most and pick one thing from that short list to focus your time, money and attention on.  By staying focused on just one or two things you can accomplish more than trying to tackle too many things. 
  • Once you know where to focus then do some research to see if there are any groups in your area that are already doing work in your area of interest.  It's much easier to join efforts with another organization to then to start from scratch.  Even if there is not an organization in your area, there is likely at least a national organization that supports your area of interest and you could still help remotely or even be a potential satellite effort.  Another place to find a local group would be to see if there are any local Facebook groups or Meet Up group.
The biggest thing to remember is to just begin and do something, however small it is.  Once you get moving you will begin to build momentum and it will make the process easier and more rewarding.