The World is Pretty Amazing

volunteer.jpg I love to volunteer. There is something about lending a helping hand that can make your whole world feel different; the air feels crisper, people seem more cheerful, you have an extra bounce in your step.

The thing is, this feeling is more self-created, than actual. Don’t get me wrong — the feeling of doing something good it very real indeed. But the way in which your world all of a sudden appears more rosy? That, my friend, is created by you.

Here’s the thing: Volunteering is so wonderful because not only are you smiling, but you are making someone else smile as well. And volunteer options are always available. You just have to be willing to step up to the plate.

I hear you, I hear you: “But I don’t have time!” I tell myself that, too, all of the time.

But, yes, you do. We all do.

Put aside a couple hours of Oprah, and all of a sudden you will have time. Or take your volunteering with you to work — a lot of organizations involve gathering money to support the cause. You can also tell your kids to take a night off from hanging out with friends, and involve your whole family — you will have time and you will be creating memories.

Anne Frank once said,

How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment:
we can start now, start slowly changing the world!”

That’s the thing about making a difference — No, you are not going to change the world over night. But imagine if you could change just one person’s world. Wouldn’t that be fantastic?!

I am just putting together some of the causes that I would like to volunteer for this year. One cool thing about volunteering is that you can combine your passions and your need to give to others. I would like to include health, fitness and writing on my Volunteer To-Do List this year.

While you are still a-thinkin’, take this survey that I put together. I would love to hear what all of you are involved in, or what volunteer goals you have for this year.

Let’s inspire each other!!

prettyboys.jpg
Emerson and Cooper at 3 months old and all dressed up — we adopted them from the Animal Rescue League of Pittsburgh.

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9 Comments

Filed under February 2008, Pray

9 responses to “The World is Pretty Amazing

  1. Would you be able to lend a hand? We’re preparing to send some inspiration overseas to our troops. Please visit our blog http://www.kindnotes.wordpress.com.

  2. kindnotes — Thank you for sharing this great cause with everyone! Readers, check out this blog!!

  3. Matt

    Hi Caroline – interested in knowing the type of volunteering you do.

  4. Hi, Matt! I have volunteered for the Susan G, Komen Foundation, in addition to Habitat for Humanity. I actually wrote for Habitat’s nonprofit publication when I was in college. I also support several animal rescue foundations, including the Animal Rescue League, where I recently adopted two kittens. But here’s the thing, Matt — I would love to do more! I am currently looking into doing some writing work for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, in addition to volunteering for a few organizations that help to promote healthy lifestyles for children. I also think it would be cool to work with children and literacy. Lastly, I would love to use my passion for running to do some good by participating in a race that helps a great cause. These are all things that I am considering as my volunteering goals for 2008. Thanks for asking, and thanks for reading!

  5. Mom

    It was brave of you to take on this topic. Those of us who know you know that you are speaking from a let’s join in together, let’s inspire each other perspective. However, any time one chooses to make a statement that challenges someone else’s time or way of living there is bound to be some defensiveness. I am proud that at such a young age you are not afraid to challenge others as well as yourself, to make any corner of this world a better place to live in. I tend to disagree with your statement “everyone has time”. I’ve come to realize that if I take time away from the ones I love to be good to the world instead of being kind, patient and loving towards all of them…then what good am I really doing?? You know that I believe in goodness and that you really do get back what you give. I say that if by chance you don’t have “time” to volunteer as you say, “just spread the little good deeds” they feel wonderful and can make someones day. If you do have “time” or have decided to challenge yourself to make the time…go for it!!! We need volunteers everywhere!! Thank you for this thought provoking post it gives everyone a moment to take personal inventory. I did not do so well on the survey 😦 …something to consider. xoxo Thanks again!!!!!!!

  6. Mom — That’s OK … there is no “good” or “bad” with the survey. It was more just to see what everyone’s volunteering goals were.

    I agree with you when you discuss “time.” I don’t think it is about how much time you commit to making the world better, as much as it is whether or not you are committing any time at all. And good deeds are a perfect example!

    It was interesting to write this post and have time to reflect on my own level of commitment to volunteering. Of course, that is the purpose of any of my posts — to make other people think as well as myself. The whole purpose of this blog!!

    Sure, I have done my bits here and there, but I would love to finish out 2008, knowing that I really made a difference. Even if it didn’t take that much “time” at all. (;

  7. Amanda

    So strange you wrote about this! I was just talking to mom about how I wanted to get involved in Girls on the Run in the fall. You think like me! 🙂 You were talking about supporting literacy and such…Pittsburgh has the Run for Literacy. I always think about doing that race but haven’t yet. It seems like a good one though. (I think it’s in September this year) I also have been looking into Carnegie Libraries Read-aloud programs… really fun! Carnegie Library had great volunteer programs. Time is hard sometimes…. another reason I am excited to be done with school (not wishing time away…just excited) I always want to do more, but school work has to come first sometimes 😉 xoxo

  8. Amanda

    P.S. I love Emmy’s chubby cheeks !

  9. Amanda — Like we have already talked about, I, too, have been looking into Pittsburgh Girls on the Run. It looks like an excellent program, and is actually the volunteer opportunity I was reading about when I decided to write this post. I look forward to seeing what it is all about!

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