Let's Volunteer Together

I'm going to be quite honest here:  I've had a really hard time with the idea of volunteering my time and services due to the lack of "spare" money in our household.  But I came to a realization recently: even though we many not have a lot of extra money to give, we still have the time. 

Volunteering isn't just about giving money to a charity, it's also about donating your time and energy to a project or person.  So with that being said, I have a new goal.  I want to volunteer my time more often.  At least once a month. 
So why volunteer?  It's about giving your time and energy to something other than yourself. Seeing the other side of the coin, persay.  It's a truly unique experience each and every time!!  Plus, everyone can use a little sprucing up of the resume, don't forget the added perk!

A couple years ago on Thanksgiving my husband and I volunteered at a shelter close to our home in Nashville (at the time).  It was such an AWESOME experience!  We decided that there was no reason to spend the extra money on food we didn't need, or stuff ourselves when there were so many others out there that barely had the opportunity to eat at all.  Once at the shelter we helped prepare and serve the food.  Josh also got the opportunity to talk with the people coming in about their experience coming to the shelter and many of them expressed how they got to the point of "homelessness."  It's truly humbling and I was honored to serve so many wonderful people.  It's so unfortuante the situations some people find themselves in with the economy the way it is today.  So many of us judge others because we see they have no money, no home, use drugs etc.  But how many of them have sold drugs as a means to keep food on the table for their family?  No, not ideal, but sometimes that's the only way for some, especially with the lack of jobs in this economy and lack of education of many.  Obviously, this experience taught me more than just giving my time, but it also taught me not to judge others because I haven't walked in their shoes. 

I look forward to my upcoming volunteer experiences, along with those who would like to join me.  I will definitely take suggestions for places that are great places to volunteer around the Champaign-Urbana area.  Where do you guys like to volunteer?

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