“Life’s persistent and most urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
This famous quote has been a guiding force throughout my career.
As a young adult, reading memoirs of famous leaders was one of my favorite hobbies. Learning about their life experiences made a difference in my own. One of the prominent themes that struck a chord with me was about the joy of giving and how it enriches the giver’s life. This has been ingrained in every aspect of my life – work or personal. My passion for education and for making a difference in the learner’s quality of life stems from this urge to do good for the community.
Initially, I was hesitant about this post because I also believe that good deeds do not require publicity. However, I changed my mind about it with the fresh perspective that my actions, learnings, and experiences may inspire many others to take a similar path and benefit society at large. So, here are my 2 cents on how giving and volunteering benefit the giver.
Be it donating to charities or volunteering time to organizations, giving is the glue that holds the community together. Although there are people who donate millions and volunteer for months to serve the underprivileged, what really counts is the intent. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a big gesture – every small step in that direction helps. The local park clean-up and donating to food banks or shelters in the community may not seem like big actions but have significant positive effects. A sea is made of up trillions of drops of water, the counting of numbers starts from one, and a small act of kindness can make a huge difference to someone’s life. Similarly, small actions or donations can make a big impact on people, animals, and organizations in need.
Volunteering has positive effects on one’s career too. Volunteering for organizations can help build valuable skills that you can then implement in your career. For example, one can develop counseling skills by volunteering as a crisis counselor, get to learn more about a certain career such as nursing by volunteering at a nursing home, or develop communication and public speaking skills by being an advocate for a cause they believe in. It can help you gain experience in a new area without a long-term commitment. Alongside, you meet like-minded people geared toward the same cause as you. This is a great way to foster personal and business relationships and build new contacts. The only requirement for volunteering is passion and positivity.
Volunteering is a great way to break away from the routine and do something that you are passionate about or you like doing. Not all of us are blessed to spend time in nature 24/7, and sometimes our passions are separate from the jobs we do. Volunteering brings joy and fulfillment to life by providing an energizing escape from the mundane. The profound effects on motivation, creativity, and moods carry back to personal and professional lives. Volunteering is also associated with feelings of gratitude for what you have. Seeing the glass half-full all the time has positive effects on feelings of fulfillment.
Research has shown that people who volunteer or give to charities live longer than those who don’t. The major psychological and physiological benefits of giving can be seen in
The promotions in social connections, fulfillment, and a sense of achievement by doing good release the feel-good hormones called endorphins. This has a positive effect on health and general feelings of happiness of individuals. Giving also creates a chain effect in generosity, which may come back to you in some way. These exchanges strengthen the social fabric and trust in the community leading to better health and well-being.
At Edcor, we have always supported local communities and organizations through our service and contributions. This year too – in our own little ways – we made a difference by supporting local charities like the Daisy Project for children with special needs, Michigan Animal Rescue League, Lake Orion Band Boosters, Regina Catholic High School, as well as several other local charities chosen by our employees.
Taking it a step further, we also encourage our employees to engage in volunteer work by giving two days of paid time off per year to give back to the community. To this end, our employees regularly volunteer time at animal rescue centers, Ronald McDonald House, elderly homes, and local mom’s clubs to support food drives, park clean-ups, and donations to libraries and women’s shelters.
To conclude, I want to leave you with 5 of my favorite quotes on Giving in the hope that they will inspire you in some way.
To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own. ~ Abraham Lincoln
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. ~ Maya Angelou
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. ~ Winston Churchill
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. ~ Kahlil Gibran
Remember, it’s each of our responsibility to uplift the society we live in. I am blessed and grateful for my cup is brimming with meaningful connections and a motivated workforce geared toward service. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Let’s Future Together!
Adrienne Way, CEO, Edcor
Edcor is a woman-owned business and is the benchmark in education benefits administration. For 41 years, our customized service and solutions have allowed Fortune 1000 Clients to use education benefits programs for employee recruiting, retention, and development. Please feel free to reach out to us!
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