The Importance of Giving Back-My Thoughts On Community Service

Thank you to the American Red Cross for sponsoring this post. All opinions remain my own.

It seems like a common reoccurring thing with me that around this time of year I do some reflecting. There's something about summer ending and moving forward into the last two seasons of the year that get my wheels turning. I usually end up in denial that the year will be over before we know it, but I keep reminding myself that life will just keep on moving by whether we embrace it, make the most of it, or let it pass by. 

When I think about all of the things I'm thankful for I also realize there's so much more giving I could be doing. If I'm being honest, this isn't the first time I've thought like this, or had these feelings. There's so much I think about that I would like to be doing, but a lot of it feels so long-term term, and if things move into the direction we hope for. Things like donating food to others if we ever have a really successful garden (we all know how that's been going so that might need a miracle), helping others with housing situations, and giving Christmas trees to those that might not be able to afford them. I know these are all things that won't happen over night, but they're nice to think about and start the groundwork for. 

Then I think about things I could be doing right now. The things I can be doing to play a bigger part in the many needs that surround us. Sadly, even though these thoughts seem to flood my mind around this time of year, there also has been moments where I haven't acted on them. Life can get so crazy some days. Most of the time it feels like my day is over before it even starts. I try to wonder how in the world I can even fit things in, between daily life, blogging, being a mother, sporting commitments, church activities, and keeping our house in order. But you know what, if we all sounded like me, helping hands would never be extended. And the sad part is, I was taught differently. I was taught to be an extension of others and to be the hands and feet for those in need.

That's why my experience and time with the American Red Cross was so important and such an eye opener for me. There were many things I learned about the Red Cross that I was not aware of. Like how majority of their humanitarian work is carried out by volunteers of the organization with 95% of disaster relief workers being volunteers. That is amazing to me. It's those people that are ready to put their lives on hold to go and help others that truly make a difference. While serving on a disaster relief effort might be something I can do in the short-term, it's definitely something I can explore later on down the road when I'm at a different stage of life.

In the meantime, there are so many other ways we can all get involved that work best for our lifestyle. I had no clue prior to my time with the Red Cross that there are virtual positions available. You don't even have to leave your house. How cool is that? You can be a digital volunteer where you can monitor and respond to online conversations for disaster affected people who may need the help of the Red Cross.

What I also love is there are so many options to explore that you can decide where your passions lie and the time you're able to give. Maybe you aren't the first to jump in a seat to donate blood, unfortunately I'm not. I have the weakest stomach, ever. My Doctors probably dread when I come in because I'm always passing out #reallife. But, I did learn that you can host a blood drive which can be as easy as getting your child's school involved or your local church. Remember how I mentioned they have a sound the alarm campaign? Well, those are other ways to help get involved, and many times those are monthly opportunities for a few hours. 

Maybe you are someone who wants to be at the forefront when disaster strikes. There's an opportunity for that, and an app for that. I think what it all comes down to, is the time we're willing to give. I know for me, I want to do a lot more than just saying or thinking about it. I also want to lead more by example for our little ones. I know that there will be situations where my time will be limited, and that's ok. I don't want to beat myself up over that. What I do want to do is, help out when and where I can. Whether it be a small part in something big, it's always rewarding to give to others and make the effort to do more.

What about you enjoy community service or do you think you could be doing more? 

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