Volunteer is a word or action that’s been popping up in many of my recent one-on-one intuitive consultations. And, I couldn’t be happier: community/civic-minded efforts are a great way to “give back.” The concern and passion for a non-profit’s goodwill should be the number one priority, as I truly believe that a person shouldn’t give freely and then expect (or, egad, demand) to be acknowledged or compensated. That’s not how the spirit of volunteerism thrives. However, the Universe does function beautifully with a balance of giving and receiving, and people should be open to the other blessings that volunteerism brings to those who graciously donate their time, money and energy.
Here are a few examples of how volunteering can be a win-win for all involved regardless of endeavors. It’s football season, so let’s start off by tackling health and fitness, which was a concern of a 40-something male client of mine. He wanted to work with a personal trainer who’d help him lose his middle-aged spread. Yet, my client complained that he couldn’t afford the sessions on a regular basis. Right away, an insight came to me and I asked if he had any interest in coaching a boy’s pigskin team. Not to my surprise, he’d actually thought about doing exactly that! I encouraged him to approach the YMCA about assisting with their youth gridiron program. He called last week to say that he took action and has been donating his time with the Colts and “loving every field goal and touchdown those kids make.” And, that the YMCA presented him with a fitness training scholarship as a token of its appreciation!
Say you’re new in town, as was the case with a female client who relocated to a major city. Excited about the move, but she was nervous about making friends. “With work’s busy schedule, I’m not sure how I’m gonna connect with anybody,” she expressed over the phone. Instantly, I heard in my head, ‘volunteer,’ so I asked her to share her interests: “I love being outdoors, and a co-worker mentioned that there’s a nature preserve just outside of the city that needed some weekend helpers.” Here’s where that thought led: on her first day of volunteering, she also signed up for the preserve’s hiking club. What better way to meet like-minded friends..or even romantic possibilities?
The temporarily unemployed – or even retirees – are often blessed (despite that some may feel as though they’re cursed) with spare time. “I’m struggling to find a new job,” a creative-type client offered recently. “I’m doing all of the typical things. Headhunters. On-line resources. Sending out resumes. But, with this extra time on my hands, I find myself getting bored.”
Whatdya know? The word volunteer came to me again, lit up like a neon sign. So, a conversation began. “All of my previous jobs have been behind desks, so it’d be nice to be moving around and even be outside,” he wished. Two days later, he signed on to deliver meals to seniors in need, which got him out of the house and away from watching the paint dry or counting the minutes until a recruiter called back. After a few weeks, he discovered that one of the board members of the charity was a key stakeholder with a local design studio. No word yet on any job leads, but the realtionship connection certainly validates how networking can surface anywhere you turn (True! I always carry my business cards with me just in case!).
Personally, I’ve had great experiences supporting non-profits and organizations, knowing that my contributions make a positive impact in one form or another. The results, the people and the satifsfaction enliven my personal growth.
While volunteerism isn’t the prescription for all of life’s issues and obstacles, one would be hard-pressed not to realize it’s worth. After all, V is also for Value.
Love and light,