I have always enjoyed helping others. My mother was the same way. She would spend her last dollar to help another mom out. I definitely got that from her.
I believe in paying things forward and I try my best to do that. My family has had so many people help us in the past. I feel as though I haven’t done enough to pay all of that forward to help others in need. While I know there is no tally card, I still have that urge to do more.
I’ve tried volunteering at other organizations in the past few years, but it hasn’t ever felt right. Every time I would think about volunteering something would come up and I wouldn’t be able to do it.
I ended up trying to gather things for families in need through social media. I was able to help a few families out and that made me feel better about the help we had received in the past. There are so many people out there willing to donate their old furniture, clothes, or even help financially. It is amazing. I have even tried to help other people in their efforts to help others by sharing their social media posts or trying to find other ways to help.
All of that was great but it just didn’t seem like I was doing enough to pay it forward.
I felt like I needed to help more families in need. Something was missing.
I found a chance to volunteer in person with something that I had never done before. I picked up 10 bags filled with food and drove them to a local school for children in need to eat during their time off from school. Just the simple act of bringing food to those children made me feel like I had done something to make a bad situation a little better.
While I was there, someone told me about another event where I could volunteer in person. It was way outside of my comfort zone. I dislike going places by myself. I like knowing at least a few people there when I volunteer to help others. I feel very lost not having a friend with me. I also do not like showing up and not knowing what the plan is. I’m a big planner!
I ended up being there all day and have since volunteered several times with the same organization. I have delivered many bags filled with food with my family in tow, and have loved every minute of it.
The last time I was volunteering, someone told me something that changed how I viewed my time volunteering to help these families. My sweet friend, Becca, looked at me, gave me a hug, and said “Girl, you really needed this. I can see your soul getting refueled”.
To be honest, I had never thought of it that way. She was right though. When I left there, I could feel my soul being filled with so much joy. It was crazy!
It’s crazy to think that doing something that once made me feel terrified could help me so much.
I was able to get a lot out of these volunteering opportunities. I was refreshed from the inside. When I got home, I was there in the moment more with my own family. It helped me to appreciate them more.
I will continue to volunteer with the same organization, and I hope that I can help them more often. Being outside of my comfort zone volunteering has left me craving more opportunities to help. It’s also left my children craving more. They want to find ways to help others. We have all had our souls refueled.
I love being able to help other families. I love meeting so many new people. I love seeing my family getting more involved. I love all of it!
I hope and pray that I can keep paying it forward to help others. I’ve got to keep going so that everyone who helped my family knows how much I appreciated every bit of their help!
No matter how you help, whether it’s donating used items, time, expertise, or financially know that you are needed, and it makes a difference.
Is it volunteering or refueling your soul?
I choose to see it as refueling my soul. Find what refuels your soul!