So Many Reasons To Volunteer
Wednesday - November 16, 2005
“Why is everyone so unhappy?” asked Violet, 82, one of my readers who called the other day.
Violet was stumped by why people walk around with scowls on their faces, especially here in “paradise.” It was a question each of us guessed at: We have too much. We don’t have enough faith. We’re too self-absorbed. We get only bad news in the media. We have an attitude of scarcity not abundance.
We agreed that the antidote for a negative attitude is spending time doing for others. It’s hard to grumble and grouse about our own troubles when we’re focused on the much worse off. As two big holidays approach, Thanksgiving and Christmas, there’s much to do to prepare our hearts and our hands for helping. And we don’t have to wait for someone else to organize it for us. We can create a fundraiser - large or small as we like - on our own, then send the proceeds to the charity or individual of our choice ... or just give outright.
One of many organizations that can use our help is Samaritan’s Purse. Founded in 1970 after the compassion of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), it has again launched its amazing Operation Christmas Child effort that sends Christmas gift boxes to close to 8 million needy children worldwide. It’s as simple as packing a shoe box with school supplies, toiletries, small toys and books - things these children have none of. Gather the list of goodies with children or grandchildren to involve them early on in giving. Central Union Church is receiving the shoe boxes until Nov. 21. (Go to www.samaritanspurse.org for details and instructions).
Hospitals such as Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children can always use volunteers. Nothing will knock us off our “pity pots” faster than sick children. And the Hawaiian Humane Society (www.hawaiianhumane.org) needs helpers, too. Making life better for abandoned dogs is a guaranteed way to banish our woe-is-me.
Let’s stop grousing and grumbling about the manini worries of our lives and instead give of ourselves through our local churches and charities. If you don’t have a favorite, you can find one in the Yellow Pages or ask a friend.
A friend of mine sent this e-mail today about blessings. It touches on Violet’s thought-provoking question:
“If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who won’t survive the week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 20 million people around the world. If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than almost 3 billion people in the world. If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8 percent of the world’s wealthy. If your parents are still married and alive, you are very rare. If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not. If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them, or even touch them on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer God’s healing touch. If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over 2 billion people in the world that cannot read anything at all. You are so blessed in ways you may never even know.”
Puts things into perspective, yeah?
Let’s break into a smile or two - the world needs it.
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