8 Top Reasons To Give Back: Make it Personal!
Enjoy a Year of Rewards that Go Beyond Your Boundaries!
I am passionate about travel and made the decision to go to Uganda with my daughter to be part of JLMC Foundation trip of a lifetime to meet the girls they serve and to witness the impact of the Girl Power Project in Uganda®, East Africa. We were with a group of conscious activists who are committed to changing the world, while having an unforgettable time along the way.
With the holidays arriving, giving can offer you a boost of health, happiness, and strengthen an entire community. Of course, you do not have to shop to reap the benefits of giving. There is research showing the same benefits can come from donating to charities or volunteering your time.
My friend and founder of the non-profit, Vivian Glyck, invited us to join her to connect with the families her organization serves in Uganda. We were able to experience the Girl Power Project first-hand by:
- Teaching communities about the law and human rights.
- Implementing Population Council’s Girl Roster Toolkit.
- Signing a covenant with the community.
These were powerful experiences to have with my daughter Hannah who is in her teens. We both learned, grew and personally gained a deeper personal sense of self and the value of giving back unconditionally.
There are so many ways to give back to the world. As a mother among other roles I engage in daily, helping girls before they become a adult, responsible woman, just made sense to me.
As I researched this program and why Uganda, I came across some interesting statistics which became my inspiration to be part of this positive change:
- Empowerment – When a girl has 7 more years of education, she marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
- Education – More than 100 Million children remain out of school – 66 million of them are girls and half of them live in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Leadership –Nelson Mandela said it all when he was quoted as saying, “No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.”
- Reproductive Health – Medical complication from pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading cause of death among girls ages 15-19, worldwide.
- Justice – Worldwide 50% of all sexual assaults are against girls ages 15-years old and younger.
This journey to help others required our time and money. They had a good plan that optimized our adventure to give back with an African Safari along the Nile River, shopping that included local entertainment while we became part of the community in our participation of service.
Let me share 8 top reasons to give back and how I made it personal:
- Make a Difference
- Build Community
- Expand Connections
- Improve your Health (mind, body and spirit)
- Lead Others by Example
- Share Your Skills
- Embrace the Good Feeling
- Give Authentically
We innately desire to make an impact on the world to add value outside of our regular grind to wake up, work, sleep and repeat. I am grateful as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM), that I designed my desire to travel as a way to make a difference for my patients.
I search the world for new technologies, based in science, to help them regenerate naturally. It has been a blessing to run a unique practice for over 25 years all while I make a difference in others health, life everyday.
When contemplating anther type of experience of giving back and sharing it with my daughter, I recognized it needed to be different. When I dug deeper,and recognized I would have a witness, my daughter in this case, I came up with a new way to refresh my opportunity to give back and personally grow.
It is when we discover deep inside our passion to experience more from life, and share it, this was the opportunity that felt right for me this year. I was confident that this was the non-profit foundation I could trust, that it would meet the experience that was resonating in my heart with my daughter.
It is important to pick an organization you believe so you can apply your contributions, your time and/or money, directly to the cause you care most about. If it is your first time, don’t hesitate to investigate local organizations before you go overseas which can be a bigger risk or investment.
Research ways the organization has truly implemented changes they claim. Take a look at how they help a family, community, country or the world with transparent results that should be documented.
Building a community can’t be done over night and nothing changes a community for the better like volunteering.
I work hard because I am passionate to help my patients feel youthful and healthy naturally. I have created and cultivated a resilient community that I authentically care about and continue to give back.
Stepping out on this trip to Uganda took me away to listen to my heart in new ways. It helped me by get out of the day to day, week to week schedule. I found participating in a positive impact with a community beyond my borders that certainly requires support, extended my purpose and allowed my daughter witness the same as such an early age.
In a society where technology has taken over, we can become lonely very quickly! We seem to let the clock run us so stepping out of our regular work environment which rules most of our day, can interfere with our ability to expand our network.
We count on our digital communities keep us connected but over time without personal engagement, can prove to distance and isolate us from having meaningful impact and interpersonal relationships. Volunteering in person seems to help balance my work schedules. It allows me to get out of the office, house or the same old routine to broaden my horizons with others who have similar passion and interests to contribute.
Experiencing the honor to give back in a meaningful way while meeting others willing to do the same, adds a special spark of life from the heart. It can ground your focus on making a living when a new experience reminds you to be present and simply enjoy the process.
Improving your health is what I teach my family, patients and apply personally all week long. I know how we think, live and feel can have a direct, real impact, upon our own health and longevity.
I find it interesting when I donate my time and invest unconditionally in an organization that has a proven track record to show they are making a positive difference in the health of a community, I participate in the rise of everyone’s physical, emotional and spiritual health together. It is powerful when we get outside of ourselves for some time to connect, improve and harmonize with the lives of others.
Giving back life force as it relates to health is a special offering I understand. It goes beyond financial contributions. The ability to be an example and live a simple healthy life has its gifts far beyond any ones imagination and it is personal.
Don’t stay on the sidelines with your own health or learning about balancing mind, body and soul by observing others who are less fortunate. They reveal secrets due to their limited resources that can become part of their gift back to you.
It is best to simply take action for yourself, one step at a time, so you can become the example for others. You do not have to be an expert in health to share what has worked for you with others interested in your like-minded objectives.
My friend Vivian who founded JLMC Foundation has a special story that inspired her to build her non-profit. It is important to know, you do not have to go to that length to contribute as you can lead others by your own example.
When if comes to any great idea or an honest effort in leadership think of ways to help in the long term by providing an ongoing contribution. I find when I give back, I choose pure organizations or ways to open myself to opportunities that take my leadership to new heights. I witnessed this with my daughter, Hannah, as she interacted with the girls in Uganda, some of them younger than her.
Yes, there were days when we thought it was too hot and uncomfortable to feel inspired to do anything for anyone. Just like in life, when you move beyond the small things and show up to the bigger experiences, like seeing the joy in those we serve, the feeling of being inconvenienced for a short time disappears when our efforts add value to others we were serving.
I know we all have a special gift to offer the world, so find it in you and share with others who will appreciate it.
What do you feel is your strength?
It is important to put your heart, mind and talents to the test by donating and volunteering for a particular cause or organization to help others as you allow yourself to grow as well. I can seem like such a surprise when you strengthen your own talents and passion as you humbly make a difference.
Embrace the celebration of sharing your skills to help others. I can assure you it comes back to you 1,000-fold.
Over the years I have discovered giving back builds our emotional wealth, and simply feels good. When I contribute to help others, I can feel the natural side effect that reaffirms my own beliefs that there is goodness within ourselves and others.
We just do not see enough examples of this in the society we live in today unless it is a celebrity. Know you do not have to be famous to find what fore fills those desires from within your soul.
When you feel it, embrace the good feeling every time.
Everyday I am inspired to contribute authentically with empathy. It is natural to give back to others in ways you believe is appreciated and gives you a higher sense of self knowing if the circumstances were reverse someone would be there for you also.
Without a real reason, for a true cause, with a solid story, contributions appear to be shallow and received as some type of self-adoration. Dig deeper into yourself, and embrace your legitimate heartfelt needs. It is only then that you can make an impact with hope and intention to authentically give back!
I truly hope you enjoyed a year of giving on some scale. It becomes easier to take action with the opportunity to grow in this way if you begin small then expand your commitment gradually. I feel satisfied on every level of my life when I continue to make a variety of commitments to GIVE BACK each year!
I would like to hear from you! Please share with me ways you have made difference in your family, community, preferably outside of your professional life. If you didn’t have the opportunity to indulge in this special way to personally grow, or haven’t found the organization that fits your heart, let me know that too. I would enjoy discussing ideas we can come up with together.
It is hard to believe another year is coming to an end. The light of an ending is the beginning that gives you a brand new start. Find your 8 top reasons to give back in your life and enjoy reflecting with grace as you begin another new year.
I would like to thank you for being in my life of service and would like to wish you and yours a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season into the New Year!