This past Saturday, June 5th I participated in the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure. Last year I walked in the race, but this year I challenged myself to run the 5k. And I DID IT!!!! I made the commitment that I would run those 3.1 miles to raise money in the fight against breast cancer. My team, The Rules of Behavior, raised $624 with the help of friends and family.
It’s a great feeling to know that I made a small impact for a great cause. Some may feel that if they don’t see immediate results from volunteering, they may not be making a difference. Well I’m here to set the record straight; every second spent on a volunteer project makes an impact, whether it’s immediate or in the long term. Breast cancer is a battle women (and men) are fighting everyday, so any dollar amount raised for research, support for those currently diagnosed, etc helps. While I personally don’t see where the $624 that I raised is going, I know that it’s being used to help someone currently diagnosed and I know it’s being used for research.
Volunteering not only helps your community but it’s therapeutic to your soul. I was very anxious and nervous leading up to the race. I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to finish the 3.1 miles without stopping to walk. But I remained focused because I had not only made the commitment to myself but I had committed to survivors, families effected, those currently going through the battle and those that lost the battle that I was going to run, not walk, for them. When the race was over, I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement!
Last month I volunteered with Hands On DC to clean up the DC area schools. Since then, the group I volunteered with has made the commitment to do a service project at least once a month. We aren’t doing this for us because believe me, I’m sure everyone wouldn’t mind NOT waking up at 8am on a Saturday to do community service. We’re doing it because it’s important to give back to our community. That’s the only way our communities will improve. I’ve said it before; the world would be a much better place if everyone was passionate about giving back to their community and helping each other.
So if you currently aren’t into volunteering, I challenge you to participate in at least one community service activity this year. Not only will you feel good, you’ll change the lives of those you are helping and you’ll meet wonderful people. If you’re not sure where to volunteer, think about what you like to do. If you love styling and fashion, volunteer with Dress for Success. If you’re a people person and love being around others, try a local soup kitchen like So Others May Eat (S.O.M.E.). There are a number of places that are always in need of a volunteer. Find one that best fits you and your interest and get started!! I promise, you’ll walk away from the experience feeling like a totally different person and you’ll be inspired to want to make a change.