Monday, November 7, 2011

BEYOND myself....

Ok...I like to help people. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, hope, and an overall GREAT feeling, knowing I have given my time, efforts, and heart, to someone in need.
But to be honest, usually due to social media, I feel bombarded by event invites, messages, etc., in ways to help. I can't seem to make up my mind which organization to help, or how to help. And although I have had personal ties to certain groups, I still feel overwhelmed by all of it!
But I want to help.
I want to really go out there and HELP people. I want to make a difference...not just thru my every day work, but BEYOND that...thru volunteering, etc.
But where do I begin??

I had tried to sign up for Habitat for Humanity, but it ends up that usually they need volunteers on Saturdays...which is one of the days I work. Uggh...all I want to do is help!!! So I started getting frustrated....

Then I came across a link on my facebook news feed (though I don't remember ever "like"ing the page, for Safe Haven, here in Nashville. 
It's a shelter-to-housing program, helping homeless families with children, achieve lasting self-sufficiency.
I had always wanted to help in something of this nature, so I emailed the contact person to become a volunteer! If you live near Nashville and want to help, click on the image below for more info:

The next day, I saw a story on CNN about Amit Gupta (AmitGuptaNeedsYou)...a young man who was diagnosed with leukemia. He has started a blog, and has been using other social media, to get info out to the general public about becoming a bone marrow donor...and hopefully finding a match.
Now, I don't know Amit, but after he explained that it's a very simple process to donate (basically, it's like giving blood), I thought...I can do that! Whether it's going to help him, or someone else....
this is something that I can do to help!
So, I've just started the process and registered to become a donor.
For more info about becoming a donor, click on the image below:
 One last organization I have become involved in, is Musicians On Call.
This is a great organization that brings volunteer musicians to the bedside of hospital patients (in Nashville, it's through Vanderbilt)...whether it's in the main hospital, dialysis unit, long-term care facility, the Childrens' Hospital, or the VA. I've had the chance to play for these patients...and although it was hard to see these people in pain, or bad health, it was amazing how playing just 1 song, could bring a smile to their face! These patients, their families, and even the hospital staff, enjoy and appreciate it sooooo much! I've even had some patients take my guitar, and play a song for me! Now that's therapy!!! I have always felt at peace, after giving back in this way...and it cost me nothing!

For more info on MOC:

I'm learning that there are ways to help....even if your days are filled with meetings, kids, gym, church, pets, and more...and at the end of the day, still trying to find time for yourself.
And maybe you feel you don't have the money to donate to any organization...or maybe you don't even know which organization to help! But it doesn't matter. What I'm learning, is that if you pick one group to help, eventually, you may come across, or eventually feel a strong pull towards, a group in which you can some way...even 1 day a year. 
There are animals, people, nature, etc....SOOOOOO many ways to give back to your community and world - with your money, time, talent, etc. And at the end of the day, you may just be surprised how helping someone, just for the sake of helping, can put a smile on your face!
So go out there, go BEYOND, and give back...because even if you think there is no way you can, believe me...there is ALWAYS a way you can help!!

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