Interested in volunteering but need a little assurance? Maureen O’Hagan, Associate Director of Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC) inspires us all to give back.
Words of wisdom from Maureen:
“I am inspired every single time I participate on an ETC trip. The joy and excitement ETC participants experience is contagious! I always finish an adventure with more energy than I began and can’t wait to get back out there again.
If you are thinking about volunteering somewhere- go for it! There are thousands of non-profits, schools and agencies that are looking for an extra helping hand. If the first place you try is not quite for you, then try another. Finding the place for you is like searching for a good pair of jeans, keep trying some on until you get a great fit!
I think sometimes people feel disempowered to make a difference in the world; it can be hard to stay positive in the face of so much struggle and turmoil that exists on our planet right now. I believe that the small things we do in our communities can collectively make a world of difference. It begins with acknowledgement and coming from a place of kindness. People are increasingly drawn into their own world and lose sight of their place in their own community, it’s important to begin with openness to the world around you. As you begin the process of seeing the world from that open perspective, the opportunities to make a difference will reveal themselves to you. It might be as simple as taking the time to help your elderly neighbor carry in their groceries or spending time with a relative you haven’t seen in a while. Of course, fiscally supporting or volunteering your time at great organizations like ETC makes a difference in your own community and beyond!
People think they are going to volunteer to “help” someone or something in their community. What you will soon realize is that the volunteer gets just as much, if not more, out of the experience! It feels great to give back!”