Sunday, January 17, 2010

5 things: Giving back

Tomorrow is a holiday in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.! What a great time to look at our actions and how we can give back and make a difference. It couldn't come at a better time either in light of the tragedy in Haiti.

1) Mentor a child I spent fall 2008 to fall 2009 (officially) mentoring a young girl, If you have been a reader for a while, you may know this. I had been wanting to mentor a kid in this certain program for a while (A running program in Minneapolis called Bolder Options.)

It was challenging and fun and I learned SO much about who I am and what I value and the girl I mentor taught me so much. Mentoring is a way to invest in the future of our country and world since the youth are the next up to bat! Supporting them, guiding them and teaching them through our example is a great way to give back and share all we have learned. In turn, we are giving to ourselves as well because of the rewards we get.

2) Volunteer your time Everyone wants to give their time and help others when the need is great. Soup kitchens are overwhelmed with volunteers during the holidays. Food and clothing donations pour in during tragedy. I want to challenge you to use ALL the time you have and donate your precious and spare time all year round. There is always a need, but not always the man power, so stock the food shelf in July and serve dinner in May for those in need. Our time is a resource that is needed every day!

3) Pick a cause every year Find a company or a cause that you believe in or that is near and dear to your heart and donate to them monthly (or when you can) for a year and then pick a new one. If you're able to add a second company. I had it on my heart to give to a non profit radio station in my city for a year and then moved that same amount to another company that I wanted to support. I love the feeling of helping others by giving to a company or cause I believe in. By supporting the big guns, we can know we are making a difference in all the work they do.

4) Dole out your talents We all have so many talents that we can use to give back. Whether on a global scale or just in your home town, our talents are just as precious and valuable as our money. Whether your a Doctor working through Doctors without borders, a carpenter working with Habitat for Humanity or a housewife bringing cookies to the nursing home, our talents are given to us for a reason! Our talents were given to use to be used and for a specific reason, don't be shy about your talent, give back using what you have and you will be rewarded!

5) Get involved in your world There is always work being done, we just have to look around us and get involved with what is going on. Check out your own community and neighborhood and see where people are working, giving and making a difference and get involved with them! Meet the youth of your community, create a presence and make a personal investment with the people around you. When they go out into the world, then the impact you have had on them will go along. We can give back on a large scale by starting with a few people we touch everyday.

Happy Holiday and here's hoping we can start the week by giving back!

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