People always say to me... "Too bad you don't make money for all those meetings you attend." Or, "You could have a great full time job instead of all the volunteering you do." My favorite is, "You need to learn to say no!" My question to them is what are you doing with your time midlife and beyond. Many times at midlife you reach a point where you look into the mirror and ask... What am I doing with my life? Is that you? Are you stuck with what to do? Depressed? Feel like you are lost or in a rut? VOLUNTEER! You can play bridge, golf, tennis, do lunches or shop all day everyday and you will never feel as good as people who give back and volunteer. If you have ever volunteered you don't need a study or research to tell you how good it makes you feel inside. In case you are a skeptic, research out there proves a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. No surprise there! There are Health Benefits to getting of your arse and helping others!
Volunteering can help you:
- Make important networking contacts.
- Learn or develop skills.
- Teach your skills to others.
- Enhance your résumé
- Gain work experience.
- Build self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Improve your health.
- Meet new people.
We all know there are two sides to volunteering. I volunteer more of my time because I can't stroke the big check and I strategically can find the time. I also believe I have specific skills I can donate to the organizations I work with. If you can't volunteer the time right now maybe you can donate. Many a times the question looms whether time or money is more needed by charitable organizations. With the recent economic hardships it comes down to maximizing resources. Whether it's a volunteer's time or a donation, organizations can't afford to waste either. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered in the U.S. This number includes public charities, private foundations, and other types of nonprofit organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations and civic leagues. Cant decide which one? You can evaluate charities through Charity Navigator.
My advice is to follow your heart. Then when you decide on what charities... do your homework before donating your time or your money. My heart is with kids, especially kids and education. My top charities that I engulf all my time and energy deal with children. They include my children's schools, Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, and The Magic House, one of the top Children's Museums in the country. If you live in St. Louis you may not realize what all this museum does for our community. If you don't want to take the time to research a charity. The Magic House is a great place to start. They are celebrating their 35th anniversary. Look at all the magic that they have shared with children through out the years. CLICK HERE! This year they are trying to raise $350-thousand dollars for 35 years. In an effort to continue its dedication of inclusion and service to those children in the St. Louis community who have the fewest opportunities. About 52-thousand kids visit the magic house every year and 57% of them don't have to pay because they receive title 1 funding which is the mark of childhood poverty. There are 65 FREE family nights a year for underserved or special populations of people in need. This is all thanks to volunteers.The year is quickly coming to an end. If you don't have a special place that you lend support to every year…start with the Magic House. Then in 2015 think real hard on what is important to you and what really touches your heart! Your time and gifts will come back tenfold... I promise!
*To Donate to the Magic House and help them reach their goal this year
Click the link below:
You can also call the Development Office at 314.288.2516 .
Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!
Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...