This past Saturday the first flyGIRL scholarship recipient was introduced. It was one of the most exciting days I’ve ever experienced. Giving is the ultimate high. Most people want to help others. Many of us feel that we can’t afford to. I have a “little sister” with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Ohio. As you could guess, her family is not wealthy. She rarely has more than $20 with her. Yet, if we see a homeless person, she always gives them something. No one would judge her if she walked by and said “I don’t have any extra money to give.” Most would probably agree. She has no relationship with this stranger and will probably never see them again. Yet, she is willing to share what she has.
Painless Household Donations
Hopefully, most people are willing to share some of what they have with people in need. Donating old, unused household items is pretty painless. De-cluttering and removing things from my house is fun for me. I’m the extreme opposite of a pack rat. My house could be featured on the fictional TV series: Does Anyone Live Here? If there’s an item taking up space that hasn’t been used in over 6 weeks, it’ll be removed and bagged for Goodwill in about 20 seconds flat. Clutter makes me squirm. The negative to this is if there is a time that I actually need that snowball maker, I’m screwed….
Donating Cold, Hard Cash
Writing a check for a charitable donation isn’t too difficult. Don’t get me wrong! No one enjoys giving their hard-earned money away. Clinging to your money as if it’s the key to happiness is a ridiculous waste of energy. No matter how much money you have, there will always be someone with more (my children have heard me say this numerous times). Don’t drive yourself nuts believing life would be perfect if you only had more money. The amount of problems you have won’t go away with more money. A lack of money may no longer be one of your problems but (spoiler alert) money can actually cause other problems. Well, that sucks. Instead, find some ways to use the money you do have to help an organization you believe in or people you believe in.
Am I drawn to the American National Cattlewomen Foundation? Negative. What about the local volunteer fire department? Absolutely! Even if filling out an actual check, addressing an actual envelope and locating an actual stamp (what do they cost now?) is torturous. It brings much more satisfaction to me then donating a $1 at the Target register ever will!
This may be the hardest. Time is impossible to recover. Yet, it is one of the best ways to truly make a difference. Knowing what you’re good at and what you enjoy is key. If you volunteer to do something that you don’t like, it will show and could have a negative impact on those you’re actually trying to help.
I’m against animal cruelty. Yet, I’m nervous around animals. There have been at least three instances in my life of threatening animal encounters. It would be laughable if it weren’t true: I’ve been chased by a herd of cattle, thrown off a horse (more than once), and attacked by a dog. Volunteering at an animal shelter is probably not the best place for me to be helpful. The animals would definitely smell fear in me. However, spending time with young kids and adults is extremely fun for me. I’ve taken my “little” flying and enjoy mentoring her and encouraging her as she grows.
Someone told me a long time ago not to be guilted into things that aren’t enjoyable for me. Leave the available position open for the right person.
The flyGIRL Scholarship
This Saturday, the culmination of my donated personal time and money was reached. A check for $5,000 was gladly handed over to a well-deserving female pilot. I’ve spent many hours preparing for this one day. There has been a lot of planning, communicating, and organizing over the past several months, with various organizations and individuals. The time spent has been fun, painless and affirmative in every aspect. The money spent was rewarding in ways many may not be able to imagine. Being able to give MORE would be thrilling! My wish for everyone is to be able to find a purpose that helps others and brings you joy. There is nothing more satisfying than giving away your time and money to a cause that you believe in.