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Go… And Be of Service

In a mere 14 days, people around North America came together to raise over $54,000 to get a woman back home to her family. A strong and supportive team that had worked day and night to keep this woman alive transported her out of an ICU on Good Friday, 2014. This woman’s dad, the last person to talk to her before the collision and the one caring for her kids back home, was one of the first to greet her after the med-jet flight landed in Seattle.

Every single one of these people sacrificed something, whether that was time, money or services, for me.

While some of these people were ‘simply doing their job’, most of them sacrificed voluntarily. Too often we lose track of what true volunteerism means. We participate in acts “voluntarily” but only if it benefits us personally; i.e. I’m on the Board of the National Speakers Association Northwest Chapter as a volunteer. Yes I give altruistic service but of course it also benefits my career.

There’s something about truly giving of yourself – whether that’s through time, money, energy or services. Volunteering with a drive beyond any personal gain makes you feel good and takes attention off of self. We get wrapped up in our own little worlds and only care for the things that directly affect us. But: It’s not about you.

So, this is my question for you: What do you care about? Do you have a passion for helping families? Is there a fund that supports research for a disease that you someone close to you has? Is animal welfare a cause that you believe in? What about child education around the globe?

Once you find an organization that hits home for you, figure out how you can help. Is donating money the best option or will your personal time and energy be a better fit?

I want to share an inspiring email that I received from the founder of One Hundred for Haiti, an organization my husband and I have supported:

“I have some incredible news for you… I got an email from Haiti and was able to respond to it positively because of your ongoing donations. This is the message I received from my contact there….and be warned it’s intense:

UNICEF called me yesterday about a case of a 14yr old girl who was raped, got pregnant, the girl and her entire family were forced to leave the community they lived in and move to Port au Prince because they felt unsafe. The girl was raped again in Port au Prince. The temporary shelter their entire family has been staying in is now not willing to keep them anymore as they’ve reached the limit of how long they can stay. They have nowhere they feel safe going. Is there any chance you’d be willing to help rent a home for them for ayear?…

Because of your donations I was able to say yes to this request. Total for the year was about $500…so THANK YOU for the ongoing donations to 100FH. This one is totally your doing. Rent for a needy family in crisis…for a year.”

You never know how far a small sacrifice can go. I would love to hear your stories about causes you believe in and organizations that you volunteer with!

“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

On the morning of Good Friday I’ll be speaking to about 300 people  at the Puyallup Kiwanis annual prayer breakfast. I get to share my faith and gratitude for all the sacrifices that have been made for me by people who stepped up in ways both big and small to make sacrifices. Everything from the people who donated blood to the people who donated money, time and attention. Good Friday is the perfect day to talk about sacrifice.

I help organizations build whole-hearted communities through ‘half-assed’ leadership. We work together in three ways: speaking, consulting, and executive coaching. Step up from the ordinary…. Contact me today.

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