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Daily Archives: November 27, 2012

Giving the Gift of Time

It’s Giving Tuesday. Another new one I never heard of before. A number of posts around about philanthropy, nonprofits, giving to local charities and such.

Me, I think the best gift we can give is our time. If we can’t always give money, or if the cause needs volunteers more than money, what is the value of your time? Even something so simple as signing up to tutor, or mentor, or chaperon a field trip, or put your name on the list to bring nurses and aides to work during snow storms. These and other types of volunteering opportunities are all around us.

I volunteer at the Conservancy now that I am retired. We just got our year end newsletter and mailing. Volunteers worked last Monday to put the mailing together. Volunteers lead the hikes with those 3955 school children. Volunteers pour wine at Wine in the Garden. Volunteers help children make critters at the crafts fair, park cars at the Transit of Venus, and the Fall Fest. There are only a half dozen employees there, almost all of them part time.

For me, it would be simpler to write a check. Leading a dozen or more hikes a year and running four or five programs takes way more effort than writing the check.

How about other opportunities in the county? The County Rec and Park department is always looking for volunteers. Whenever we did the county trail hikes on the AT or C&O canal, the leaders were volunteers. Robinson Nature Center? Needs docents and other volunteers.

Sometimes writing a check is a good thing to do. Sometimes it directly benefits you, or indirectly. We like to keep our donations of money to local efforts. Even being good citizens and supporting our volunteer firefighters.

Or, we can always support a fundraiser. Even if it is volunteering to work at an event. But, there are simple ways to give. Like this one. Not the $100 a plate fundraisers. Something as simple as the firefighters’ event on the 8th of December.

Giving is easy. Just pick up the phone and invite yourself to support something you believe in. Now, I need to go get those cookies made to take to the Conservancy for the crafts fair.