I know a lot of people who often think about volunteering and working with a charitable organization to give back and help others. But, truthfully, almost everyone I know who thinks about getting involved focuses on everything they can’t do: “I can’t sit on a foundation board, I can’t write a large check and send it in, and I can’t devote large amounts of time.” So most often, the idea to support a local charity or non-profit organization moves to the bottom of a long-term to-do list.
Then, this past weekend, my 7-year-old asked if he could volunteer at the animal shelter. He really wants a cat, but he can’t have one at home, so he thought he could help out at a shelter while getting to play with kittens at the same time. It was … brilliant. And it got me thinking that there might be some things I can’t do when it comes to charitable activities, but there are definitely some things I can do.
I can hammer a nail, and I can use a paintbrush. I could, then, find out more about working with Habitat for Humanity with local organizations for Bay County, Isabella County, Midland County, or Saginaw Shiawassee.
I can run, or at least fast walk. Girls on the Run Saginaw Bay offers opportunities for young girls to gain confidence, learn life skills, and build relationships with the inclusion of physical activity. I could definitely handle helping the girls cross the 5K finish line at the end of their program.
I can golf. Well, I should say that I like to golf. I can actually drive the golf cart. Just this past weekend, It Takes a Warrior, a local charity devoted to helping veterans, hosted a golf outing, and the CAN Council’s 18th annual golf outing for the Children’s Advocacy Centers is coming up in July at Apple Mountain, plus many more in between.
I can read. I could volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region in the Lunchbox Learners program, or I could work with the READ Association of Saginaw County to share in some valuable literacy-building reading time with a child. Plus, I can donate books my own children have outgrown to my local school’s library or a classroom.
The list goes on. I found after just a few moments of reflection that there are a lot of ways that I could help out. So the next time I hear about a charitable cause in the community that I want to support, I won’t think about all of the things I can’t do—I’ll focus on what I can do.