OBAMA … LESSON LEARNED--American history is being written this weekend, and we all have front row seats watching the many inaugural events unfolding before our very eyes. This change in regime in our Capitol is leaving most Americans feeling very tentative about our immediate future. Not helping is the fact that Donald Trump has the lowest rating of any president-elect in recent history.
Although I am really not a strong Barack Obama policy supporter, I unequivocally admire his calm, likeable, humble demeanor. I love that he has placed an importance on spreading goodwill at home and abroad. President Obama, along with wife Michelle, engender community service of all kinds working to increase youth healthier lifestyles, childhood obesity awareness, empowerment in minority groups, and an early start in child education.
In addition to the Obama’s organized community service, there are also random acts of kindness. There was a story I had read many years ago in the Daily Kos published in 2008 of a newlywed traveling from Washington DC back to Norway to meet up with her husband and did not have money to bring her luggage back. Feeling helpless with tears in her eyes, a stranger from behind gave her the $100 fee. She vowed to return the money and asked him to kindly write his name and address down for her. It turned out to be President Barack Obama. What an amazing story of kindness to a stranger!
We all can emulate these acts of kindness. With a time of political, economic and international uncertainty, we need it more than ever. Charity brings out the best in ourselves and builds each other up.
If you don’t know where to start, there is a great national website, www.volunteermatch.com that connects those who want to volunteer to organizations that need man power. Using the filters, you can choose the location, where to serve. You can choose a cause that you are passionate about such as advocacy and human rights, immigration, housing, LGBTQ issues, arts and culture, animal rescue, and so many more. You can do a recurrent event such as reading to children in a library every Saturday, or a onetime event such as the 2017 Art Walk for Homeless Vets Feeding and Sock Drive (which just happens to be on February 9th in Pasadena). You can also choose how to volunteer, as a group of children, teenagers or seniors.
The website includes approximately 112,000 participating organizations, 12 million volunteers, and over 80,000 volunteer opportunities. Whether you want to volunteer or are looking for volunteers for your non-profits, visit the Volunteer Match.
Last November, I found a great opportunity for a group of kids to help pack boxes offood for the needy for Thanksgiving. We helped assemble large cardboard boxes with all the traditional fixings that were all donated, turkey, ham, stuffing, canned cranberry, sweet potatoes, and green beans. It was a wonderful way to help the community, and meet other volunteers that also want to give back.
Usually you find my column in Deals and Discounts but today is different. It’s not about a local place to visit or about something to buy, but it is about something good to do for ourselves and our community around us. Use volunteermatch.com, and get involved. It is good for your soul. It will empower you at this time of uncertainty and spread goodwill. And who knows, maybe that will inspire others to go out and do the same. Our world definitely needs more random acts of kindness.
NEED TO KNOW LINKS FOR VOLUNTEER MATCH
(Sue Helmy has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. She is currently providing superb administrative services at a financial management firm in Century City. She is active in countless church and civic organizations and spends every minute she can spare dancing to the Zumba beat.)