As we all slowly get back to our normal lives, I’ve been considering all that I’ve learned staying at home these past several weeks.
I’ve learned the value of walking outside and breathing fresh air. I’ve remembered that being an entrepreneur requires guts of steel and crazy amounts of faith. I’ve also learned that I love my family very much, but too much time with them drives me crazy too.
I’ve missed the little things. I miss going to the mountains, my chiropractor, seeing friends and going out to eat. I miss random travel and planning for the future with some certainty.
But, one thing I’ve still been able to do as we shelter at home is help others in my small way. It’s kept me connected to humanity.
So, I thought I’d devote some time to blogging about volunteering.
I volunteer for The Horse Protection League (HPL). Before our lives were changed by the novel Coronavirus, I pulled weeds, cleaned pens and pitched in with general physical labor onsite at the historic Churches Ranch near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It was good for my soul and my body. I loved being outside in the sun alongside the gentle horses.
Giving back with expertise
I also provide website support for the organization. That I can do from my home office. I post their sale, show and event information. And yes, I posted cancellation notices too as we all entered lockdown.
I added payment methods to their site so that the organization can receive donations. I keep up with all the little things they don’t have the expertise or time to do themselves. I keep their site running smoothly. My efforts help their nonprofit not only care for abandoned and injured horses, but indirectly, the humans who love them too.
I’m telling you all this not to boast about my supposed “good deeds,” but to share that I found a new way to use my professional skills. In return, I have received more from volunteering than I ever thought possible. I feel more satisfied with my life and peaceful because of it. The HPL has gifted my family in many ways. I feel more complete giving back to them.
Surprisingly, I’ve received business referrals from my involvement as well. This wasn’t my intent, it’s just a happy byproduct. I’ve gotten to know more people in my community too.
Receive more than you give
Digging around, I discovered that people who volunteer reap distinct health benefits. According to Habitat For Humanity, who cite the Harvard School of Public Health as their source, people who volunteer spend 38 percent fewer nights at the hospital than those who don’t! That’s an amazing benefit, especially in these uncertain times.
What organizations are you passionate about? If you were to quit your job or win the lottery, what would you volunteer to do for the pure love of it? The cause or organization that just popped into your mind might just need your particular skills and time. Consider calling them soon.
Recent events have underscored how precious life is. I plan to keep volunteering. It makes my life fuller, keeps me grounded in what’s essential and apparently is boosting my immunity too.
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