I’ve been thinking about the correlation between volunteering and wellbeing. In the past, I’ve put myself down for not volunteering enough. I wanted to, but I didn’t know that raising two toddlers while working full time and trying to be a writer was so hard. I didn’t realize weekends were for laundry and house cleaning while my husband worked.
I wanted to be planting trees in my neighborhood or serving food on Thanksgiving. I wanted to donate my Saturdays as I did in school when I spent the day playing with kids at the city’s orphanage. But, I haven’t managed to do it, and until recently, I kept punishing myself for it.
Thankfully during this quarantine, I’ve learned that there are many ways to be of service, and any is valid and welcomed. I’ve learned that I can volunteer my time, skills, or resources without leaving the house or worrying about my kids, or stop to work on my other priorities.
Right now, I am supporting an array of activities with small monetary donations. I’ve supported healthcare workers, restaurants, and artists. My contributions are small, but I know they are worth a lot at this moment. Most importantly, they’ve taught me that this way of helping is valid. I am adding it to my lifestyle, now and forever.
Yes, I would love to be there in person helping, or hand-making masks, or handing cleaning packages on the streets. But I am not there yet.
What about you? What is your calling right now? Creating masks for those who can’t buy one? Making monetary contributions to local restaurants? Cooking a meal for your neighbor? Or donating a massive pan of rice for a food drive?
Whatever it is, let’s support each other on feeling good about the actions we are taking. Let’s help each other understand that our acts of support, empathy, and kindness in any size, shape or form, are valid, needed, and welcome.