Photo by Joel Muniz / Unsplash

The gift of giving

A long distance friend and I were catching up and she casually mentioned her volunteer work. 

“What does your volunteer work look like?” I asked.

She told me about Reading Partners where she spends an hour a week tutoring and about volunteering at a homeless shelter either serving food or stocking the pantry.

I was enamored of how seamlessly she had integrated helping others into her life. 

“One hour a week seems so doable,” I remarked, “and it’s a great reminder that helping others can be less overwhelming than it seems.”

She went on to tell me that she would invite friends to help her stock the pantry at the homeless shelter sometimes instead of going for coffee. “We get to hang out and talk the whole time - and we’ve done something useful with our time!” 

As she spoke those words, I felt a rush of possibility in my mind and energy coursed through my body. 

The way I hide from helping others is by thinking of how much time it will take or convincing myself that it’s all too overwhelming. 

But I realized during our conversation how much more energy it took to hide, to avoid, to pretend something doesn’t exist. 

Getting to do a thing for others - even if it’s a small thing - gives me more energy than it takes.

Doing it with others? Well, that's just icing on the cake.

My friend Mandell has giving down pat. ❤️‍🔥 There’s no one better at the gift of giving than him.