You may have heard that today is the second annual #GivingTuesday. The purpose is to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season in support of non-profit organizations. These organizations depend upon donations made by the public. As you are deciding what to give your friends and family members, I also encourage you to think about charitable orgnaizations that are significant to you.
As a social worker, all of my jobs (except my current teaching position) have been with non-profit agencies. Most people do not realize the amazing work that is completed by non-profits with small amounts of money and limited staff. However, these same agencies are also ones which provide the necessary assitance during crisis (The Red Cross), are there with answers when a health scare occurs (American Cancer Society) and at end of life (Hospice). Typically, we may not think about a non-profit until it is needed.
I encourage you today to think about giving to an agency not only from a monetary stand point but also of your time. As a former non-profit worker, I can’t stress the signifcance of volunteers and what the time means for paid staff. I also feel it’s important to find an agency which means something to you and has a cause you believe in.
Research has shown that whether you are working through grief or dealing with others stressors in your life that voluntering improves your mood. Volunteering takes you outside of yourself and encourages you to think about others and their needs. As I have been trying to find new routines, I have not voluntered but have begun to think about where I would like to share my time. For me, I will always be connected to the hospice world and I have been blessed to have been affiliated with two hospices (my former employer and the one which cared for my family). However, as much as I continue to feel drawn to the work, I also know it is not an agency where I need to spend my current time.
What has been catching my eye is the work of the American Cancer Society. 1 in 3 of us will be dignosed with cancer. Witthin one year two of my family members have been lost to two very different types. My Mom was a breast cancer survivor for 14 years before being diagnosed with an unrelated cancer. “Just really bad luck” her oncologist stated.
I’m not sure yet in what way I would like to become involved but I’m continuing to feel I need to focus in this area. However, I’m taking things slow and may wait until the anniversary of my Mom’s death. By choosing this area I’m aware there could be many triggers for me and I will need to practice self care but I also feel it is something I need to do in memory of my Mom and Nanny. I will keep you posted on my timeline.
Meanwhile, today I did make a monetary donation to the American Cancer Society. Here’s my #GivingTuesday, #unselfie that I posted on instagram and twitter.
Take a few minutes today and consider giving.