Just last week, I took part in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Bakersfield. Our amazing, dedicated ten-woman team contributed over $34,450 to the more than $2 million dollars the event raised. We were proud as can be, and the euphoria that broke out when the total was announced pumped us up even more. There was jumping, screaming, hugging, back-clapping, and the prevailing yell, “We DID it!” Already united in the cause, our feelings of one-ness intensified in those moments.
There’s something magical about working on a project to help others. We feel we can make a difference in our community and in the world. Some are making that difference as they volunteer at homeless shelters or food banks. Some tutor in community adult literacy projects.
Within their organizations, some find ways to provide opportunities for under-served populations. My AAUW branch sponsors several girls who are entering 8th grade at Tech Trek, a week-long, residential science and math camp held on the CSU Fresno campus.
Supported by their workplace values of community involvement, some employees mentor youngsters through local schools or other community activities.
Hands fly up in classrooms when the teacher says, “I need a volunteer.” It’s our nature, even as children, to help. We want to be a part of something outside of ourselves.
In varying degrees, we all crave the feeling of community, of belonging, of being valued. When we contribute our time and effort to a cause, we give and we receive.
Tell us about a way you’ve become involved in your community. Seeing what you’re doing may urge others to action.