It’s easy to think of Charity only in monetary terms, because that is how many of us think of what charity is, giving of our monetary wealth.
I was cleaning up a few broken links when I came across a posting I did about Christmas and what Christmas Giving means, which featured a broken link to the Shepherds of Good Hope (a local mission in Ottawa), so I fixed the link, but I also had a look at the web site and what they need help with.
The Shepherds’ do want monetary donations, no doubt, and they make it relatively easy to do that (using a clearing house for charitable organizations, which allows them to them take credit card donations). They also are looking for clothing, bed linens and that sort of thing, but they are also looking for volunteers to help them out.
This one is a hard one, it is very far out of my “comfort zone” to volunteer for this kind of community service, but given the amount of spare time I have, I am thinking that it might be a better use of my time than sitting and worrying about finding a new job. We shall see.
What is charity to you?
To me, charity is as much about the gift of time as it is about the gift of dollars.
Being between jobs is a great time to do some volunteer work, any volunteer work. If working with the Shepherds of Good Hope or The Mission isn’t within your comfort zone, how about checking out Habitat for Humanity, or one of the local theatre groups, or your local church or service club, or the local animal shelter, or at one of the museums, or Meals on Wheels. There are a bazillion ways to give back to the community, whether for a few hours one time only or for a few hours a week on and ongoing basis. Volunteer Ottawa (http://www.volunteerottawa.ca/vo-clean/) and Charity Village (http://www.charityvillage.com/applicant/volunteer.asp) are two of a number of places to look for a volunteer gig. It feels great to get involved.
I’m finding that my project management skills are even more valuable when volunteering in the arts and for non-profits than they are when working for pay in high-tech!!!
And you never know what contacts you will make… you will be exposed to a different cross section of the population than you are currently accustomed to. This is good for the soul, great for the networking, and an interesting topic of discussion at future job interviews when asked how you spent your time “in between”.