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Giving Back: The Best Gift for You and Your Community

Aug 22, 2013

As the responsibilities of your daily life pull you in many different directions and you get sucked into solving problems in your own personal world, it is easy to forget about the bigger picture of what is going on in your community, city, state and the world. Giving of yourself freely without expecting anything in return can be one of the best experiences for you personally, as well as for your family. Do something special today for your community, the Earth or your friends and see how one simple, small act can make a big difference in someone’s life.

Give Back to Your Community
You don’t have to make a big time or money commitment to make a big difference in your community. You can do many small things throughout the year to support the people and programs that need help surviving and serving the less fortunate. If you are looking to join a cause, you can contact your local city hall or non-profit organizations who support the causes that are close to your heart. Or, you can organize your own community program if you are a go-getter with a passion for a specific cause.

“There are so many people out there who don’t have the basics to live,” says Diana Doerbecker, personal trainer at Fitness Together Cold Spring Hills. “You can help them by volunteering in soup kitchens, donating personal items or getting involved in groups in your community. It makes you realize how fortunate you are to have a roof over your head and food on the table.”

Doerbecker is active in volunteering in her community on both a personal and community-wide level. She went out of her way one day to make a sandwich and deliver it to a homeless person she saw on her way home. She also has been involved in many community-wide volunteer projects while serving as president of the local school’s PTA.

One of the most memorable moments she experienced seeing her community come together during tough times and make miracles happen was when her child’s elementary school burned down during a winter break maintenance project. After a lot of hard work, community support and outreach, a brand new beautiful school re-opened only a couple of years later.

“We needed so much help,” Doerbecker recalls. “The support of the community came through in a big way. Having a new school built in our community wouldn’t have happened on its own. The amount of donations was unbelievable. The whole community came together to make this happen.”

Give Back to the Earth
Mother Nature is the queen of giving as she provides us with the essentials for life – air to breathe, water to drink and food to eat. Show your thanks for the Earth by doing your part to keep the environment clean. Something as simple as riding your bike to work a few days a week or bringing a bag with you on neighborhood walks to pick up trash along the route can make a big difference for the Earth and your community.

If you want to do more and take your commitment to the next level, you can organize an office supply recycling program at your work. Or, get together a group of people to adopt a mile of highway in your city and make a commitment to clean the side of the road on a regular basis. Whatever time you can give or commitment you can make will help make a difference for the health of the earth and the livelihood of your community.

Give Back to Set a Good Example for Your Kids and Family
There are many positive reasons to volunteer and give back to those in need.  One of the most rewarding reasons to get involved in your community is to set a good example for your kids. Every year Doerbecker and her family participate in a beach cleanup event where they walk and pick up garbage along the shoreline and in the dunes. They also have participated in breast cancer awareness walks and highway trash pickup projects.

“It feels good to be doing something as a whole family,” Doerbecker says.  “Giving back is a great tool to teach your children. From the example you set early on, it’s important that your kids are comfortable getting out in the community, helping others and supporting the groups they believe in.”

Find something that matters to you most and get involved today to start making a difference in your community. One of the best feelings in the world is giving your time and effort, while not expecting anything in return. The reward for your selfless acts can be a beautiful thing for both you and your community.