No smirking…no laughing..no shaking your head and thinking that I’ve once again jumped into my Polly Anna suit and am parading around Dallas. The center of my vision board has my three main objectives in life:
- Help someone achieve a dream
- Help someone catch the giving spirit
- Make someone smile EVERY day
I think that accomplishing one of those three things most days is doing well. I write about my charity adventures, not for a pat on the back, but in the hopes that someone will read my words and think about it. Maybe it will sink in and they will see an opportunity to help, to make a difference, and instead of just closing their eyes, or walking away, they will step up and volunteer. I would love nothing more than to have someone say to me, “Guess what I decided to do today, and it felt so good, thank you for the nudge.” That’s worth so much more to me than a pat on that back.
This morning I was up at 6:30 a.m. to head to downtown Dallas for a toy sorting project. I hate getting up early on the weekend…but I had promised to help so off I went to Dallas. I still love seeing the skyline of the city as I drive in, it makes me smile and amazes me that I really am living here now.
At the Sheraton Conference Center, toys were stacked from floor to ceiling, they were collected last night at the Margarita Ball. There were still all sorts of balloons everywhere, it must have been one heck of an event. There were toys for every age, games, bikes, skateboards, scooters, you name it it was probably in one of the piles. The first job was to sort through all of the toys by ages, boy or girl or a general category. That challenged the toy stereotyping in a big way…there are girls that like basketballs too you know?
After the toys were all sorted, each was put into a large garbage bag, tied, marked by age and packed into giant brown paper boxes. It was an army of box assemblers, box packers, toy baggers..but it was definitely organized chaos with each group moving to help the next as they finished. There were high school students there, and a variety of people on up the age scale. It was quite a work out carrying, bending and of course laughing. It was a great team effort, and we finished in less than the 4 hours they had planned. On December 12 is the Christmas party for the Dallas kids where the toys will be distributed.
On the way home, I stopped at my favorite breakfast place Cafe Brazil and treated myself to pumpkin pancakes. I’m still smiling. This morning took less than 3 hours, the army of people made quick work of the monumental task and we all left the building feeling a little lighter..a little happier, because maybe our small part in this venture helped to make the difference in the life of a child. That’s a very powerful feeling…
You know, that’s why I do it. I’m selfish, it’s that rush of happiness that one gets from helping others. It really is like a drug. Yep, once you’ve had a taste of it, you look for other ways to get more, to give back to even more groups, even more people…to find ways to make a difference.
I can hear you know, but you live in Dallas, there are lots more opportunities to do this kind of work. Excuse me? I spent most of my life living in the cornfields of Ohio. Check at your local elementary school, donate books to the local library, feel passionate about animals, do something for the local animal shelter. It’s important to find something that means something to you. For me it’s Hospice, so I found ways to help them. No time to go volunteer? I dealt with that too. I found lots of great opportunities at http://www.volunteermatch.org they even have virtual volunteer activities.
If you need ideas, help finding a way to give back, send me an email, I’m sure that I can help you come up with something.
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~William James
Psssttt…pass it on!
Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. ~Author Unknown
Go out and do something small…help me achieve my dream, one person CAN make a difference.