Friday, April 16, 2010

Let Go Of The Goods, Genevieve!

I was reading an article the other day on that said only 24% of twenty some things volunteer their time. It talked about how we as the emerging generation want to help and give our energies directly to a cause instead of donating to the "towering bureaucracies" out there. The only problem is that we are some of the busiest people imaginable. We over commit socially, work too hard, go to school and in general don't have the time to give to volunteering. That's where day service projects and jammed packed missions trips have come in handy for us. The article goes on to say, "Those with a heart to serve must take small steps - however insignificant they may seem - in getting involved if they want to develop into mature servants. 'Go out and do something, anything, whatever... and then God will show you what you want to be doing, even if it's small - something tangible, something real.' "

I started reflecting on volunteering and servant hood in my own life. Back in high school it was so easy. My youth group would set up regular opportunities and summer trips to participate in. All you had to do was sign up and help raise money (or ask your parents for some). But once you hit college the focus changes to you and how YOU are doing, what do YOU need to get a degree, gather life experience, land a job, become successful and ultimately it all gets lost.

I felt as if I was being nudged back in the direction of my youth earlier this year and put "serving my community" as one of my goals for 2010. Not only do I want to help those immediately in my life, but also reaching out and extending past my comfort zone. Sarah and I did this earlier in February, when we helped with Habitat for Humanity and the project they're working on in Denver. It felt so good to get outside and have a hammer in hand. And just like the article said, every little bit helps, just because I'm not going out every single week and serving the homeless or tutoring an at risk child, doesn't mean I can't help.

My next goal is to simplify and un-clutter my life and in the process give back to who needs it the most. As I was clearing out my closet a few days ago, I thought to myself, "I have SO much STUFF." I don't need it all and as I thought this, I texted that statement to my friend Dan. He texted me back with an idea, "Hey. Maybe you could sell all the clothes you're giving away and with that money you can donate to a charity you're passionate about." Brilliant. Over the course of the past few days I have painstakingly gone through everything I own and asked myself, "Do I really NEED this." My living room is now filled with piles of clutter that I am about to embark on selling. My skis, old clothes, kitchen items, jewelry, bedding, so much, too much. I don't care how much money I get from it, I just hope that whatever I end up with can make a difference in someone's life.

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