Volunteering Brings a Fresh Perspective
When was the last time that someone lent you a helping hand? When was the last time that you helped someone else, whether it was a close friend or a stranger?
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and I’ll be the first to admit it! With a seemingly endless to-do list and a packed calendar, routines can feel all-consuming. Sometimes, we need to change up our priorities to gain a bit of perspective.
One way that I refresh my outlook on life is through volunteering. I find that devoting time to others (even in small ways) brings clarity to my goals and purpose in life. Helping others reminds me of the good fortune I’ve had and makes my worries and struggles feel less overwhelming.
My volunteer experience
Recently, I felt drained in a particularly busy time of life. Days would come and go, with little time to think about what was going on outside of my own world. I knew I needed to make a change and chose to find volunteer opportunities in my area that aligned with causes that were important to me.
I volunteered with a non-profit organization in my area to create educational kits for kids in grades 3-5. Many families in our region have faced financial instability because of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors. During the last few years, families have often taken on additional responsibilities of managing their kid’s education. Creating educational kits is a great way to provide families in need with resources to fuel learning at home.
I shopped for supplies to build several educational kits for kids and families in need. These kits included flash cards focused on math and literacy, workbooks, learning games and common school supplies such as pencils, erasers, sharpeners and more.
After assembling the kits, I delivered them to the local non-profit agency for distribution. At the end of the process, spending time volunteering brought me both a sense of accomplishment and purpose. However, I think an often-overlooked benefit of helping others is the feeling of connection to other people that we may know little or nothing about.
While I did not meet the families that will receive the kits, I know that they will make a positive impact on the educational journey of the kids that receive them.
While we all have unique life experiences and journeys in life, demonstrating compassion transcends the things that divide us. Compassion is a shared experience across all peoples and places. Compassion is an experience that is meant to be shared together.
Over the next few months, I will continue to challenge myself to shake up my daily routine and packing our lives with new activities, hobbies, and passions. Follow along for where my adventures will take me next!
Opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or its subsidiaries and affiliates.
- Find more ways to get involved and explore your community here on A Healthier Michigan.
Photo credit: Mia Gallucci