“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.”
There are many reasons to give back beyond the simple goodness of heart. Serving others allows us to make a lasting difference, strengthen our communities, broaden our networks, and gain new perspectives. There are multiple ways to give back to your community beyond simply donating. Giving of time and effort are equally important and allow us to make a lasting impact.
There are multiple ways to serve others that do not involve writing a check. In fact, a personal connection with someone in need is sometimes more important than a financial contribution. Whether you are passionate about working with kids, helping the elderly, or supporting the homeless, there are multiple ways to donate your time and simply be a mentor or a friend to someone in need.
- Offer Your Skills
Skill-based volunteering can not only make a difference in the life of others, but also help you cultivate critical business and leadership skills. Whether you are good at accounting, marketing, cooking, art, gardening, or event planning – you can use those skills and talents to help a local non-profit or a charitable organization. Channel your unique talents, skills, ideas, and social networks towards transforming lives of others.
- Recognize/Support Those Who Serve
Recognizing those who serve or have served is another way to give back to your community. Check in with your local police and fire departments, military bases or veteran’s organizations to see how you can thank and support them. Through Leadership Montgomery, I recently participated in a ride-along with the local Fire Department. Over the course of my evening with these amazing gentlemen, I got a bird’s eye view of the tremendous sacrifice they make on behalf of others. Check out my photo op (Don’t let my smile and the pristine uniform fool you. The demands of 1st responders is not for the faint of heart):
- Join Others
Are you committed to making a difference but don’t know how? The first place to start is ask. Find an organization in your local community that is devoted to the cause you are passionate about. Join with them to raise awareness and celebrate the work they are doing.
Theologian James Keller once said, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”. So, what do you have nothing to lose? Spark your “giving side” this holiday season. Then, watch the world around you shine brighter!
Kelly Leonard is a speaker, trainer, television show host/executive producer, and award-winning CEO. Her company, Taylor-Leonard Corporation (T-LC) is a small, woman-owned training, information technology, and business development consultancy. With over 45 years of collective experience serving non-profits, Fortune 100 companies, federal, state, and local government, T-LC’s leadership team brings the best practices of global, multinational organizations to the marketplace.
Kelly actively supports dynamic organizations and programs through service projects, missions, and charitable giving. Among the organizations and initiatives supported are Leadership Montgomery, Montgomery College, Nehemiah Project, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes of Montgomery County. Beyond charitable giving, Kelly and her husband, Jerome, actively support their local church as marriage mentors and lead a Life Group for entrepreneurs and business leaders.