“The UN Public Service Day intends to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlight the contribution of public service in the development process; recognize the work of public servants, and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.” – http://www.UN.org
What an important day today is! I’m not sure where the world would be without those who choose to give back.
Every week I volunteer to lead play time at a local homeless shelter through a statewide program called Horizons for Homeless Children, and it – more often than not – is the best part of my week.
“The vowwunteeers are here, the vowwwwunteers!” screams Leela as I walk in the door. “Inside voices please Leela. I’m so excited to see you! How was your day today?” I try to say calmly.
Two other volunteers and I arrive at the shelter to a room full of excited children who can’t seem to wait another minute to start playtime. Within a matter of seconds – usually before even putting my keys down – we’ve started to make pizzas out of play dough, paper hats that make you say “Aye-aye Captain!”, and stethoscopes out of pipe cleaners and pompoms.
There are different types of volunteer work I think – the type where you give your time and have faith that you’re making a difference – and the type where you give your time and see the difference your presence has made right before your eyes. I realized that my experience with Horizons for Homeless Children was the later, the day the same Leela who I routinely put in timeout every week for shoving the younger kids and spitting on me when I get near her, walked up to me all by herself after sitting in timeout and said “I’m sorry”.
The time you take out of your busy schedule to give back doesn’t only create a difference in the lives of those you’re helping, but it can help change your own life as well while putting things in perspective for you.
I think giving back is not only important for individuals but for companies as well, and I’m proud to say that I work for one that has made giving back a priority since its beginning. For more than 30 years, Lightlife has given 5% of its net profits to various charities. You can find more information about Lightlife’s charitable giving, including a list of some of the organizations we have donated to in the past here: Lightlife’s Charitable Giving
Do you volunteer your time anywhere? If so, bravo! Why do you think it’s important? Do you think it’s important for a company to give what it can as well?
Lightlife Team Member