June 26: Selflessness and You

Recently I wrote an article on being charitable with your feet that brought up a number of good points that segue right into this blog that I have been wanting to write.

Charity sees the need, not the cause. – German proverb

So often there is a misconception that in order to help charities you must donate money.  You see it all over the place.  Donate money to help the children read, donate money to help build homes for the poor, donate money to save the rainforest, donate money to a scam that we just made up to get your money but we really are calling it a charity.

Fact of the matter is, there are plenty of organizations that need your time, not your money.  Actually, most every single non-profit organization (NPO) thrives on the time and dedication of its volunteers.  Whether you can donate 4 days or 4 hours, most any NPO can find a need, from helping build houses, to helping sort groceries, to stapling marketing materials.  There are plenty of jobs, some that will use your talents, others that will just use your time.

What is the use of living if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? – Winston Churchill

Here is just a quick list of places and ways that you can donate your time without a penny out of your pocket:

  • Build a house with Habitat for Humanity
  • Assist with pet care and events for the SPCA
  • Staff an event for a charitable organization
  • Volunteer with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help cure breast cancer
  • ???

One of the best places, besides the internet, to find organizations in need of volunteers is your corporate HR department.  Most times, larger companies are involved in community driven charities and often use company driven recruitment to assist these organizations with their events.

Is money what all of these non-profit organizations need to function? YES.  But the money doesn’t just come in by the truckload, these companies need to operate like a normal, profit-based business and use their events to aid in the fundraising.  These companies need selfless volunteers to donate their time and expertise to run a business whose sole goal is to give back to their communities and their causes.

Day 26. Way 26. Selflessness and You.  You don’t need to spend money to affect change on a large scale.

I left the list above with some question marks at the end.  This is where you come in.  Can you help me finish off that list with a recommendation for groups or charities that need volunteer assistance?

Share your recommendations and stories of selflessness below.


toys photo credit / dog photo credit

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  • One of the simplest ways to volunteer…your local food bank. Every city has one and most often, they only want a couple of hours of your time. Who doesn’t have a couple of hours to give? You can usually even do it on a weeknight, after work!

    • ya know, I was thinking of that when I was writing it and somehow must have forgotten it in the writing.  definitely good advice, lots of places just need a few hours and a few hands.  

  • I worked on a Habitat Humanity home (as a bucket list goal) and had a total blast!  Each year my school hosts food and toy drives that I participate in as well.  I would like to do a clothing drive and donate the collections to my favorite country in Central America, Honduras.  They children there touched my heart and I’d love to give back to them.  

    I am currently starting to weed through my possessions and will be donating a lot of my belongings as part of a larger project that I’m working on.

    • I have had a few friends that worked for Habitat for Humanity and loved it.  Personally, I will never volunteer for them, as my old company used to do business with them and they have horrendous business and ethical practices which really tainted my vision of their business, no matter how much good they do, if it is not done ethically, it is not worthwhile in my opinion.

  • Nicki

    An easy one for our town, is the local soup kitchen. They get a lot of volunteers on the holidays but other days it goes up and down. Our work buys ice cream, a treat they’re not afforded, and make Sundaes. They love it. Troubles are overshadowed with being a kid again putting on the sprinkles and syrup. Simple things go a long way.

    We are one of those companies that is community service driven. We are a non profit ourselves, a state chartered credit union in Alaska. Our employees have donated over 1000 hours already this year by doing, far out weighing the corporate donations given. We’ve done things such as habitat for humanity, walks benefitting cancer organizations, people with disabilities, people struggling with lung issues, heart issues, you name it…animal charities, botanical society, homelessness, gay pride organizations and Aids awareness to name (truly) just a few. I thankfully work for a place that aligns with my philosophy of giving back isn’t monetary – it’s doing. I enjoy it. I seek it. Humanity deserves it.

    • I think you said it best, humanity deserves it.  

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  • Exactly! Helping isn’t always about the money. What most victims really need is our time. In fact, even in friendships and relationships, time is the most essential thing that one can give in order to show love, care, and concern. Not money. Not material things. I’d like to think that it is because time is something we give that is truly our own and has some sort of a personal touch that makes it so precious and so heartwarming. It is something that no other material thing can replace. Being there for someone gives an unexplainable feeling of joy because sometimes, all we really need is someone to tell us that we’re not alone. 


    • That is exactly why I admire the act of giving of your time so much more than the act of giving with your wallet.