Have you ever been in the situation where someone asks for a volunteer and everyone just sits there and looks around because no one is going to be the person to say yes and accept responsibility for something? Well, I haven’t. I’ve always been that person to say.. Yes, I’ll do it. Sometimes, that means taking on more work than I probably could handle, but in the long run, it always pays off for me.

Until I was older, I never thought of volunteering as a “thing” or a task to be done.. It was just something I did. It was never really called volunteering in our household, it was just part of our routine. And this was true for a bunch of people in my family. When I was younger, we would chop food for a meal program on Wednesdays.. and actually my dad still does that to this day. We always picked names off of the giving tree and my parents never stopped me from taking 2 or 3.. (I’ve always been compulsive..haha) I know not all people could afford to do that, but there are so many volunteer opportunities that exist in the world that take nothing but time.

In college, a good friend of mine worked at a nursing home and asked me if I would like to volunteer from time to time.. Not having any living grandparents.. I agreed. Plus, besides the grandparent thing — I LOVE old people.. But I could go on for days about that (watch for a follow-up post on why ancient humans rule) ANYWAY, per usual, I’m off track. Going to visit these people in the nursing home cost me nothing but time, and what I gained from it was much more than I ever put in. Some people don’t have families that visit them. They don’t have anyone to talk to about day to day things. They don’t have anyone to sit there with them in silence, and just be company. It was as simple as that. It made me gain appreciation for the most simple things in life. Not to get serious or sappy on you, but part of the reason I always make the effort to make time for people is because I regret not spending more time with those people I lost, and now they’re gone.

So any which way you take this post, I’m basically writing to say.. I’m going to get back on the volunteer wagon. After I started working full time, it was harder to find opportunities. I’m fairly certain that’s most people’s EXCUSE.. that they just don’t have the time. Which is an excuse for sure. Trust me you do have the time. It’s just you have to find the time or make the time to do it. Somehow we find time to get haircuts, paint our nails, watch tv and everything else under the sun. Why not give up just one hour a week to someone else, when it could make their whole month.. or their whole year? Just some food for thought. Plus, I promise it’ll pay off.. not only in character, but in good stories.