"Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need."
--- Gillian Anderson
The last thing we all need today is something extra added to our plates. It is enough just to get up in the morning and tackle all the tasks at hand without adding more. If you are like me, you are probably trying to find ways to unload things, not take on more. But it is important to take a step back and look at our community and see if there isn't something we can add, something we can do to help, even if it is just a little.
Volunteering is one way to give back to the community that helps to support our businesses. There are so many organizations looking for people to volunteer that at least the task of finding where to volunteer is made easier. Usually, the best place to begin is with an organization or cause you are passionate about.
"Research has shown that people who volunteer often live longer."
--- Allen Klein
Volunteering doesn't really require a whole lot of time and effort. It can be any amount you wish to contribute. I know business leaders who volunteer to feed the homeless every Saturday morning at a local park through a nearby church. The church brings all the equipment and food and all these business leaders do is dish out the goodies to the homeless. Although not the main reason for volunteering, these leaders are home by 10:00am. The point is that it doesn't take a lot of time to give back.
"My dad was president of the volunteer fire department, which was within walking distance to our house. I spent several days of each week there with him - any time the whistle blew, he went. It was truly inspiring to watch him lead that way."
--- Brad Paisley
Our volunteering actions speaks volumes to those around us, especially our employees. There are many businesses that offer incentives to employees who volunteer and some companies turn these opportunities into a competition with employees getting more and more involved in order to outdo their peers.
"I absolutely believe in the power of tithing and giving back. My own experience about all the blessings I've had in my life is that the more I give away, the more that comes back. That is the way life works, and that is the way energy works."
--- Ken Blanchard
In order to find a good place to volunteer, remember to seek out things you are passionate about. Currently in the news is the issue with domestic violence and how misunderstood it really is. Most communities have shelters for victims of domestic violence and are always seeking volunteers to help with picking up supplies, getting the word out to communities, and training business leaders to recognize this plight that is devastating to families, businesses, and neighborhoods.
Other organizations in desperate need of volunteers include animal shelters, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, hospitals, day camps, senior centers, and the YMCA, just to name a few. Find one that suits your personality and passion and you may just be surprised how much the time you spend will be so much more valuable to others than you could ever imagine.
"To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do."
--- John Adams
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On a window of a New Hampshire burger restaurant:
"Yes, we are open. Sorry for the inconvenience"
As seen on the window of a barber shop in Columbia, SC:
"During vacation of owner, a competent hair stylist will be here."
At a bookstore:
"Rare, out-of-print, and nonexistent books"
We need those funny signs you've seen in your travels, come on, we know they're out there.
Send them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.