Therapy Thursday: Finding a way to give back

As I’ve mentioned before, my job is a bit crazy. I travel a lot, I often work very late and weekends are not out of bounds.

Not having a normal schedule has always kept me from volunteering as often as I’d like. I can’t easily make a commitment to do something regularly because I could be sent anywhere or be thrown into an evening meeting with little notice.

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What does this all have to do with this post? A few years ago I decided, if I can’t give my time in the way I’d like, I would donate money. I’ve raised money over the years for races, or for groups that I belong to, so when others ask, I almost always give. And having worked in non-profit development for a year before realizing it was not meant for me, I’m actually pretty good at convincing others to give, as well.

For example, at the time of the shooting in Newtown, CT, I lived less than two hours from the site. Within a day, I’d reached out to the associates in the various leadership programs where I work, and asked for donations to support the first responders, and the counselors who were helping families. By the end of that week I’d received nearly $5000; that was enough to buy meals for telephone counselors for a week, and still donate to a number of first-responder and family organizations.

I’ve donated to more cancer organizations than I can count, after losing my grandmother after a 14 year battle, its my number one priority. But I’ve supported everything from HIV/AIDS groups to charter schools, basically anything that helps others.

Don’t get me wrong, I volunteer time when I can. I helped put together and deliver Make-A-Wish wish granting bags to more than a dozen kids in the Hartford area. For the last 5 summers I’ve volunteered bagging fresh produce for a local foods share program. I can say, I look forward to having a more normal schedule where I can donate time and my professional skills to help organizations in need.

For me, giving back, whether financially or with time, makes me feel amazing. It’s nice to know that I have been blessed and can give back, hoping if something in my life we to change, someone would help me. Research has even shown that giving back helps to keep you healthy, and can even add extra years of life to older adults.

So what’s my most recent way of giving back? My friend Emma over at A Mom Runs this Town is raising money for Every Mother Counts. She’s been working so hard to raise money, and even used her social media prowess to donate her own money for every new follower on Twitter and Facebook.

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Still, she’s not quite there, so today, I helped her out a little. It’s been a crazy but amazing few weeks for me, and this was something I could do to give back to the world that’s given me so much.

So, my wonderful readers, if you can give, pleas help Emma out. She and her adorable daughter will thank you, and so will I!

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Seriously, how can you say no to that face?

How do you give back to this wonderful world?
What is the most random charity you have helped or donated to?
Have you ever raised money for a race? Which race and which charity?

And here’s yet another hint on my big news (I swear I will eventually tell you, it’s just taking longer to be able to announce than expected)

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7 thoughts on “Therapy Thursday: Finding a way to give back

  1. That is a really great way to give back, I love that! I don’t give back very much, I really should.. I always wanted to pay it forward by buying someone’s coffee behind me or something. Maybe I should try that next time!

    • You’re a teacher, the definition of your job is giving back every day 🙂

      And I love the random acts of kindness concept. People get so happy, and usually pay it forward!

  2. I will honestly admit that I didn’t used to “give back” a whole lot. However, I am currently raising money and training for the Run for Water ultra marathon where our efforts will help build clean water systems in remote villages in Ethiopia. I was terrified of the fundraising but the experience has totally changed how I look at charity. I am so humbled by everyone’s generosity that I find myself being generous in return more often…

  3. Ooh I love this 🙂 I think showin generosity is one of the most nurturing thing you can do for others and yourself. I too have volunteered a lot in my past ranging from helping out charity second-hand shops to working abroad but I also am unable to dedicate a set time in my schedule to do something regularly these days. I sadly don’t donate as much as I should (so thank you for reminding me 🙂 ) but try to when there are crises going on in the world.

    On a sidenote, which isn’t to do with charity but I feel still comes under the umbrella of ‘generosity’, I have this weird habit where when I travel over a toll bridge I pay for myself and the person after me irrelevant to how good their car looks etc

    Looking forward to the announcement!

    • I love the random act of kindness with paying tolls for the person behind you!

      I did the 26 acts of kindness after Newtown that Ann Curry started via twitter. The responses to the ones I saw or responded we’re amazing. I paid for coffee for an elderly man at Starbucks and he said “I didn’t know people were still nice to each other for no reason.” Sad but true, so cheers to you keeping it going 🙂

  4. You. Are. Awesome! I gave you a shout out on my blog this AM. What a thoughtful person you are. You sound a lot like my good friend in DC. She’s the international girl for her company and is constantly on the go.
    I’m hoping to donate a little to a charity for each race I run this year. Unfortunately, being a stay at home mom with a mortgage broker husband whose salary varies every month, it’s hard to give a lot… but I’m trying! Thanks again!
    Ok I’m guessing you are moving to Philly?!?!
    emma @ amomrunsthistown.com

    • You are so very welcome!

      And I think its awesome that you’ve raised for so many different charities and races! It’s such a fun and helpful thing to add if you’re running anyway. For the first several years of working, I worked in non-profits, and could only afford to give back with time. Now that I make enough to have some extra, I try to give, especially since I don’t have an other half or cute little babies at this point.

      And good guess. I will announce, hopefully next week 🙂

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