Give Yourself The Gift Of Giving Back by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

Giving back is a term used frequently, but it has a very special meaning at this point in time. Giving back is not only about doing something right now to help someone else; it is about committing to continue to keep doing so in the future.

Giving back through volunteering, donating, or working on behalf of a charitable or community organization is not only good for others, but it is also a gift you can give yourself. Volunteering and helping others makes us feel good, helps us to stay involved, and creates a true sense of community and engagement that is impossible to find in other types of experiences and interactions.

Some people may choose to do things on a personal level to give back. Perhaps they mentor or tutor a child in the neighborhood, check in on an elderly neighbor, or take the time to do odd jobs for someone with a physical challenge. Any and all of these types of acts are a way of giving back, and it is often just a matter of looking around to see where you can offer support, help, and your time.

The Benefits of Getting Involved

The most obvious benefit of getting involved in any type of charitable or community-based effort is to help others in the community. When people in any community feel cared about and valued, it creates a more cohesive and supportive environment for everyone.

Getting involved also provides an opportunity to meet new people. Most volunteer organizations are made up of diverse populations. The interactions and friendships that come out of working together for the common good are just one of the positive side-effects and added benefits of giving back.

Share Your Passion and Expertise

Everyone has an area of passion and expertise. Giving back by giving freely of your expertise, knowledge, and areas of passion is motivating for those around you. In some communities, starting a group and providing leadership for other volunteers and individuals may be your way to contribute.

Working with existing organizations or individuals starting up groups of volunteers is a great place to start. Talking to others about what your ideas are for helping out others can trigger creative and tailored options for services and support that are specific to your community.

Finding this niche and sharing your expertise is a way to encourage others and also to learn new things about yourself. It is surprising how often becoming the teacher or the mentor helps you to identify other skills or knowledge you want to master.

Helping others has a ripple effect throughout the community. Start small, help where you can, and look for ways to continue to give back to your community.

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