This time of the year, there are numerous seasonal opportunities to volunteer from ringing bells for the Salvation Army to baking cookies for residents of nursing homes. Every charity is doing fund raising via emails, regular mail, ads, etc. We are reminded daily to count our blessings and give of our time and resources to others via worthy causes that we believe in.
Bruce and I have several charities that we give to on a regular bases year around. I am sharing, not to brag but to endorse and promote these worthy causes. At Christmas time instead of giving individual gifts we give that money to good foundations that do excellent work. My personal favorite is Women for Women International, followed closely by the Clinton Foundation.
Both of us follow the good work of Heifer.org. This year we gave to their WiLD project, as well as gave a Flock of Hope in honor of our grandkids. (Chicks, geese, and ducks) I thought the little goat in their gift catalog was so cute; we gave that in honor of our wedding anniversary. After all, we are two old goats enjoying retirement together.
This brings me to Bruce's all year long favorite way to give back, volunteering at the CoxHealth Auxiliary. He started there in the fall of 2004, I think. At that time, it was something that got him out of the house and with others. He had retired for the third time in June after working since his teens, and frankly didn’t know what to do with himself. He was assigned to work in “the tunnel”, which is actually the receiving and storage area for the CoxHealth Gift Shop. He still works there 2-3 times per week unpacking, counting, and pricing new merchandise. He is proud to serve on the Auxiliary board as treasurer.
Besides that, he helps decorate the shop for Christmas, take inventory, run errands, etc, etc. Recently his buddy John and he were asked to do an extra project, something that involved going through the whole hospital floor by floor checking on some equipment. Their extra effort and dedication was noted and appreciated by the director of the Bio-Med department, Brian Huff in the hospital's newsletter. It was nice to be mentioned and to know his hard work is appreciated.
Volunteering is rewarding, it helps others of course, but mainly it is something everyone can do. Even a few minutes of anyone’s time can be a meaningful experience…especially to the one who is doing the volunteering.