27.11.2008 17 °C
I just watched CNN's Heroes award show. And wow. Was that the most inspiring two hours of television I've ever seen, or what? They honored ten people for giving back in tremendous ways. I want to be friends with those ten people. (One of them is a local to the New Orleans area, working at the St. Bernard Project, so maybe that's a possibility.) (www.cnn.com/heroes)
This award show was perfectly timed for me. Not only have I spent most of today thinking about all of the millions of things that I have to be thankful for, but I'm also starting to get to that point where I start freaking out about what comes next. The show didn't reveal my next step, but it did make me realize how strongly I feel about volunteering. And I know I should be thinking about jobs that pay well so I can fund all of my hopeful travels, but I don't think I can do that. I want to help more people, even if that means not buying a lot of shoes so I can save up to reach my goal of seeing all 50 states by the time I turn 30 (26 more states, 7 more years). I made that goal during a training session for Volunteers in Action at Marywood. I was asked to state a goal, and since I am so unsure about what my future holds, I said the only thing that I knew I wanted. Then they made me set a due date. But now I have another goal, to commit my life to the service of others. This one doesn't need a due date though.
I have had an amazingly blessed life. Even when my parents faced financial instability, I still got everything I wanted, except for a pet monkey, but really that was a ridiculous request. When I told my parents I wanted to go to a private Catholic college, they mortgaged the home that they were almost done paying for. I owe my parents, my family, and my friends for making my life so blessed. And so it's only fair to spread the blessing, right?
So if you were thinking about buying me a Christmas present, but didn't know what to get me, follow these few steps:
1. Research charities.
2. Find one that calls out to you.
3. Donate whatever you would have spent on me. (tax break, woot)
4. Tell me about it.
Just think about how many people you can affect by making even a small donation.
You can also just research non-profit organizations in your area and volunteer with them, it'll be good for them and for you. Either way, tell me about it. And tell your friends.
We'll see where I am one year from today, hopefully still as thankful and as happy as I am right now.
Thank you. And Happy Thanksgiving.