Work and life balance is important, but I think there is a third element that needs to be considered and that is community.
When I first started my career, I didn’t make much money. Paying my bills was a struggle. I became quite adept at floating funds to keep checks from bouncing. There was no point in asking me to give to a charitable cause.
What I could contribute was time. And I did. In high school I volunteered at a local museum as a tour guide. I was helping the community, and I was developing my public speaking skills and my confidence grew. Later, I delivered meals for Meals on Wheels. I loved chatting with the people I met along my route. We brightened each other’s day. I also coordinated a volleyball team for inner city girls. It wasn’t about winning; it was about self-esteem and self confidence.
Now, I find I have less time, and a bit more money so I contribute to causes that touch me. They’re focused on literacy, children and seniors. I also support the arts and botanical gardens because they are passions of mine.
I still give of my time. I serve on a mentoring board and chair the PR committee. And I’m on the board of NFPW.
I’ve been blessed and it feels good to give back whether it is with a gift of time or a financial gift.
What are you doing to give back?