Live United: Ways to Give Back to the Community

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DiversityHello, or Goodbye – those are the words that goes through my head as I write my last blog, as Lady Lennia, for the giving back edition. What seems to be the end of my reign, is actually the beginning of a new term. This blog helped me grow and made me think about my own life. I hope it did the same for you. Not only did I provide educational information about organizations and various volunteer opportunities, but I also gave you a glimpse of some of my intimate thoughts and moments. The transparency was liberating! Liberation is always expected after completing a task at hand, and potentially helping others, in the process.

Before I leave I would like share information about one more organization, United Way of America. As an AmeriCorps volunteer I struck gold when I found an AmeriCorps position that paired up with United Way. There I was, volunteering for two influential organizations at the same time. United Way of America is one of the oldest non-profit organizations around, and you can find them in just about every state. At United Way you can Donate, Advocate, or Volunteer.

Donating is sometimes over looked, but it should not be that way. With out donations, non-profit organizations would not exist, and they serve our country the most. You can give a one time donation or become a philanthropist, depending on your income. With donations, it is not how much you give, but it is why you give. One story in the bible stands out:

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 4:41-44.

If you do anything in life do it with your whole heart, because half stepping will never get you any where.

To advocate is to stand up for someone who is unable to stand up for themselves. Advocacy is important when a person may not know their rights, benefits that they qualify for, or if they are too afraid to defend themselves. Rather than sitting back, advocacy and activism is always an option. As I once heard, when you advocate you are not defending, solely, but you are empowering and educating another so that they can one day stand up for themselves. Never advocate to make yourself feel superior, and another inferior. Always treat others as your equal.

As I mentioned in my previous blogs you can volunteer to do just about anything. For college students, you can even design your own internship, to gain credits and experience. What ever you do, your time and dedication will not go over looked.

I leave by saying as United Way would say …LIVE UNITED and one quote, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ~ Aristotle

Through out life you will always come across people with different views and different backgrounds. Your job is not to preach, teach, moralize, or judge, but it is to stay true to yourself, and know your own beliefs. Maybe, if you share a little love and live a life that stands out you may be able to influence others in a positive way. It is a big maybe, but it is worth a try.

For more information about United Way of America go to www.unitedway.org