Volunteer ~ The life you save may be your own.

Anyone can volunteer

Everyone can volunteer

 

 

 

 

Volunteering is on my heart today as I work to write a letter designed to excite people to donate to ABILITY Corps; a new project I have the privilege of working with that will focus on giving people with disabilities the opportunity to volunteer.

Anyone who knows me knows I believe in volunteering.  I have done vast research on the benefits consistent volunteering has on a community as well as the staggering emotional and health benefits that result as we volunteer. However, my biggest credentials come from experiencing the benefits of dedicated volunteering.

When an accident forced me to sell my home, I found warmth in helping others get homes of their own through volunteering with my local Habitat for Humanity. When a disability made it hard to do the things I love to do, I looked for the things I could still do and helped myself regain a purpose through service. When death and betrayal made just breathing painful, I reached out to give again. I have learned that it is not until we become a part of something bigger than ourselves that we truly find our “self”. In giving to others my pain found relief.

I am disabled. You would not know it to look at me but I have limitations. Many people you see every day have hidden disabilities. Whether your disabilities are hidden or obvious, or you do not have a disability at all… we should all be able to give of ourselves. That is why I am so excited about being a part of ABILITY Corps and helping it grow.

When the accident left me with all the symptoms of MS and the doctors had told me to get my final papers in order, people pulled away at a time when I needed them most. They just did not know how to help me. I promised myself I would never forget what that felt like. I did not want a hand out; I just wanted to feel I had value…that I mattered.  Volunteering gives us the opportunity to be engaged in the world. It allows us to contribute, learn new skills or use the ones we have. It gives us purpose. It makes individuals and our community stronger.

People with disabilities should have the opportunity to volunteer too.  A population often seen as being “needy” can be of tremendous value. Shouldn’t we all be given the chance to help others and ourselves? Part of ABILITY Corps mission is to help break down the myths we have about disabilities and focus on an individual’s ABILITIES. Working side by side is a great way to understand our differences and dismiss our fears. When you are volunteering for a cause with someone, you already share a common passion.

Asking for donations has never been easy for me but when something so meaningful, with the opportunity to have such a profound effect on people’s lives presents itself, we have to figure out a way to openly talk about the impact money can make. The benefits outweigh the discomfort.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you. I would love to hear your thoughts on two things; how volunteering has affected your life and what inspires you to give your time and your money? I look forward to hearing your stories and your thoughts on the topics.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Alesha Z says:

    What makes me volunteer? When I can help and spend time with people I know. I get turned off when I offer to volunteer and the rules are so strict, I can’t help.

  2. David Latchman says:

    Hi Sue, I was not familiar with your story. I loved it. I have ALWAYS found the best step towards peace of mind after suffering bad news, setbacks, or experiencing tradgedy is to help others in any I can. Gets me out of my head and gets me into gratitude.

  3. Sue,
    What a joy to read your article. You are truly and inspiriation to both disabled and abled people. Your organization is a worthy cause and donating will keep it going. You will have mine in the new year.

    Keep up the good work.

    Maureen

    I

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