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Give.

The only gift is a portion of thyself.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
To give. We all claim to do it, yet selfishly hold on to our last dollar at the bottom of our purse or wallet-hoping that it would grow. What is not being said with those actions is the faith required to understand that the karmic laws of pure humanness and the love of God himself will always allow us to recover. To not only live, but to thrive.
Following this notion, I decided to give some of myself. The power starts with me, begins with me and does not have to end with me. I want to give. I want to give so purely and without thought, that giving will be a second thought, of human nature of my spirit.
I never seen myself as a stingy person. Well...except with red velvet cake and a good fountain pen. Now those, I have to kinda get over. However, I found such a wonderful notion with giving. It can help myself, it can help others. With giving, I can share myself with others-hopefully offering inspiration, thought, physical strength and love that was probably infeasible to another at their time of grief.
When we think about it-we are all up shit's creek. I say this bluntly and with merit, because one only has to look at the headlines to see that we are all agreeing. Headlines read of a bad economy, and even the so-called rich are selling off assets and trading their Club Med membership cards in exchange for B.J.'s or Costco's. We are living in a time where those brown things under broken glass of the street are picked up-and we realize the power of the penny. We see the turmoil and consequences of war and fallen soldiers and know that life is a bitch for veterans upon their return. Even more substantial is the uninsured and under insured Americans-and the gripping reality of the physical and mental illness that is left untreated because of this. Additionally, we see the bailouts and Wall Street mavens giving advice and political stances of how the middle class is left struggling. I say all classes are struggling and we realize it.
The silver lining?
We appreciate the small things. Love the penny pinching candlelight dinners at home. Revel at the power of the coupon and the $1.50 it just saved. We pay attention to our children and children become children-playing with sidewalk chalk, blowing bubbles and playing tag instead of glued to the TV with the newest (and often more expensive) X-Box games. We love ourselves more. We appreciate ourselves more. We expect the resiliency of Americans to bleed red, white and blue-and we wait for the big comeback. We know, that even in the heartbeat of the our last breath in a recession, we have the ability to keep alive. To keep moving on. To have the faith.
So much in this time-we require and need the call for service.
I say this with conviction, because I have just signed myself up for volunteering. Yes. Volunteering. I volunteered in the year of 1995 with Project S.A.V.E.-a non-profit organization to educate and spread AIDS and HIV awareness and prevention. We gave out condoms. We recorded, aired and televised local public service announcements to speak out against unprotected sex and help others understand the power of getting tested for HIV. We wrote and performed two plays-one at the Delaware Theatre Company and the other, at the Everett Theatre.
Learning from this experience, I gained so much knowledge and positively helped myself. The volunteer experience helped me get out the house, learn something new-and even came with a few perks of having a sense of enthusiasm and happiness, a good listing on my resume, and even unlimited supplies of condoms (smile) that I would often give to my friends.
It is such a good thing to volunteer, to give. To give some of yourself-now that's a great achievement. Too often, we are hurried, rushed and not wanting to give any of ourselves. We complain that we are too tired. We are too consumed with other to-do lists. However, when we are in a bad position, we want others to come running to help us? Selfish thinking.
A good website that I registered (its free and no unwanted SPAM to fry in the ol' email box) is www.volunteermatch.org . This powerful website allows you to plug in your zip code and bam-you have all the volunteer opportunities within your local area. I signed up to donate my prom dress through www.enchantedcloset.org. This website helps low-income seniors have the chance to receive a donated dress or gown through givers. I have another formal dress that is absolutely beautiful and would love to give away to their cause. I think its exceptionally great. Located here in the Atlanta area, I also sent inquiries to Odyssey Healthcare-to volunteer with Hospice patients. Possibly I can be a ray of sunshine, give compassion, or share some of myself to someone facing end of life care. In May, I also signed up for helping with either set up or clean up for a Arthritis walk/run to raise money for the local chapter. I hope I can help anyone in need. As of Monday, March 16th-today-there are currently 295 volunteer positions listed through Volunteer Match.org in Wilmington, Delaware. Imagine if we just gave a little, people. In Atlanta? 733 positions!
Now that I look back at my life-I realize the power of giving. So many people have helped to give to me...so many people dedicated their time, money, efforts and shared their life with me so that I can live, thrive, grow and be educated. It is about time I return the favor-again. :)
I have posted some wonderful links below in your pursuit for your call to service. Please dedicate your time and efforts in rebuilding America-and to helping yourself in the process. Love comes in all shapes and forms; maybe you can spread some of your love around.
Website Referrals and Volunteer Ideas/Organizations:

Find Out your Match Today! www.volunteermatch.org

Be a Hospice Volunteer: http://www.hospicefoundation.org/hospiceInfo/volunteer.asp

Be a Humanitarian through the Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.d8aaecf214c576bf971e4cfe43181aa0/?vgnextoid=7bf51a53f1c37110VgnVCM1000003481a10aRCRD

Clothes aren't the only thing that Goodwill Needs. Donate a old car, computer, or household goods: http://locator.goodwill.org/

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Give now: https://www.givelife.org/index_flash.cfm?thisHB=03/16/2009%2008:45:03

It takes some committed time and hard work. Join now: http://www.peacecorps.gov/

For all my Peoples Back Home: Wilmington, Delaware Volunteer Positions: http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?l=wilmington%2C+delaware&k=

And for the Love of My New Town: Atlanta, Georgia Volunteer Positions: http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?l=atlanta%2C+georgia&k=

I hope this article inspires someone to give a little. What will you give today?
Peace and Blessings,
Beverly

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