Your Time is a Gift

Unfortunately, the holiday season has become too commercialized and focused on all the wrong things.  We have become desensitized to its true meaning.  The retail marketplace started putting up Holiday decorations after Halloween in an effort to salvage what has been a dismal year for them.  Soon, we’ll be concerned with making sure we have everyone checked off our gift list, sending back party RSVPs, and mailing holiday greetings to friends and family.  I must caution you to take pause before this frenzy happens and consider the following:  you have the opportunity to give an incredible gift that will leave a lasting impression long after the presents have been opened, the parties visited and greetings exchanged – you have the opportunity to give your time and effort.  No one is more appreciated in the world than someone who donates their time with the goal of lightening the burden of another or advancing a common cause.

There are too many worthwhile volunteer organizations to list here, but all would surely welcome your time and talents.  Elizabeth Andrew said, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”  This is the mantra of all people I know who volunteer on a regular basis.  Whether it’s a charitable organization, trade or professional association, or place of worship, all would sincerely appreciate any time you have to spare.  Though balancing our personal and professional schedules is an ever growing challenge, supporting a volunteer effort will leave you fulfilled beyond belief and with the strong desire to give even more of yourself.  No one volunteers hoping to receive accolades or credit.  We find an initiative we sincerely believe in and hope that we are able to make a small difference in its progression.

While it is true that all charities need financial support, most need volunteer support just as much, if not more.  Meals aren’t delivered to the needy on their own; shelters cannot clothe the unfortunate without assistance; industry initiatives are not advanced without intellectual support and fresh ideas; society does not improve as a whole without true, honest, good-hearted help.  Sherry Anderson said, “Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.”  There aren’t many better descriptions than this.  We don’t get paid but we certainly never, ever feel worthless or unappreciated.  Though most would disagree being called priceless, those who rely on the efforts of volunteers would state we are exactly that: priceless.

Tom Brokaw said it best:  “It’s easy to make a buck.  It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”  Everyone wants to feel as though they have contributed toward achieving a goal.  Everyone wants to feel a sense of accomplishment, that they have made a difference.  Unfortunately, not everyone realizes you are able to experience those tremendous feelings through simply giving of yourself.  Find a cause that speaks to you and get behind it as best you can.  Even a few hours a month will make a difference.  Be bold and lead by example.  Remind colleagues, friends, and family that the holiday season is about appreciating what you do have.  Show them that this appreciation is truly achieved by helping others for no reason other than just to help.

This holiday season, I urge you to give your time and energy as a gift.  Show you’re willing to exemplify the true meaning of the spirit of holiday season.  Make a difference.  There is nothing stronger than the heart and willingness of a volunteer.

As an encouragement to others, please let us know to which charities you’ve donated your time and energy and, more importantly, how you felt after giving of yourself.

  1. No comments yet.

  1. No trackbacks yet.