Blog Action Day: The Love We Give Away Is the Only Love We Keep

From on October 15, 2008 in General

Blog Action DayThe above headline is a quote from Deepak Chopra. It is amazingly accurate. How often do you find yourself at a soup kitchen ladling soup for the homeless? If you’ve ever volunteered your services to a charitable organization or given donations of cash, food, or clothes to a charity drive, you would understand how it feels deep in your heart that you helped make a difference. There is a profound sense of love, brotherhood, community, and fulfillment that a person gets when they reach out and truly help the lives of people who are less fortunate.

Community Spirit

If you ever feel empty or purposeless, just walk down to your local church and sign up to adopt a family. Every church on every block has long lists of families that are well below the poverty line. Each year I obtain such a list myself and adopt a family over the holidays. I started doing this years ago when my children were very small. I wanted my kids to be raised with charitable and loving hearts. We downsized our Christmas so we could give other families Christmas. Their Christmas wish list usually consists of socks, underwear, coats, and shoes as opposed to the usual wish list of toys and games. My children helped with the shopping and wrapping of the gifts and, the day before Christmas, they would accompany me to deliver the gifts. We also brought Christmas trees and groceries. Since those earlier days I started getting my co-workers involved in adopting more families and it has become a tradition everyone looks forward to each year. Nothing warms your heart more than by giving to people who are truly in need.

One Man’s Junk is another Man’s Treasure

It is amazing to me, when I see someone remodeling their home, how much waste is accumulated. There’s a lot of great material that could get recycled that just ends up at the dump. Recycling this material is not only good for the planet it’s also material that someone less fortunate would jump for joy over. The general population tends to be too wasteful, but when you’re down on your luck things like old windows or doors can be a treasure. Another thing I see is appliances, kitchen cabinets, bathroom sinks and faucets being dumped. Again, these can be treasures to families living under in poverty. Don’t dump; donate.

One Nail at a Time

That’s Habitat for Humanity’s motto and as they hammer one nail at a time they help build homes for less fortunate one home at a time. Their purpose is to provide affordable homeownership opportunities for low income families and teach people to help themselves. Some of the requirements for the selection of low income families are if they are currently living in unsafe or unhealthy conditions, overcrowding, or paying an excessive amount for housing. As a way of helping these families help themselves, the selected families must contribute a minimum of 500 hours at the construction sites and they must be willing to attend educational workshops on the subject of homeownership, budgeting, and other related topics. Other selection necessities are to fit the current years HUD income requirements, be a first-time homeowner, be a U.S. legal resident, have acceptable credit, have a steady income to make monthly payments, and live a crime free and drug free lifestyle. Here are just a few of the great opportunities you can get involved with to help families who live in poverty achieve their dreams:

To find local affiliates and volunteer opportunities:

The Women Build program:

Global Village work trip – turning your vacation into something meaningful:

Spread the Love

Whatever you can do to help overcome poverty, whether it’s volunteering your time or offering donations, every small step you take makes a significant leap forward collectively. And, remember, the love we give away is the only love we keep.