Borrowing from John Lennon’s song “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” the year is over, so what have you done? No matter what holiday you celebrate — or even if you don’t celebrate at all — this is the last month of 2012. My children think the Maya calendar means that none of us will be here after Dec. 21. I think this is a reasonable way to get out of buying holiday gifts.
But, when I start seeing the stories behind CNN’s Heroes, it makes me pause and wonder what I’m really doing on a volunteer basis. Maybe it’s the Type A in me, but I wonder if I can do more. A few people, like the ones who are profiled in CNN’s Heroes, are making a positive difference in hundreds of lives. And, these people don’t do it with huge budgets. They often don’t have access to the best industry consultants or celebrity endorsements. They see a need and they act on it. They aren’t oblivious to injustice and human frailty. Often times, their actions can put them in danger; regardless, they continue to make a positive impact on those less fortunate.
I read an article recently about a non-traditional church (based on ethics rather than religion) that gave each volunteer from the congregation $100. The only deal was they had to give it away. For many of us, this amount of money is small. How could $100 really help someone else or some organization in need?
I know that many of you volunteer in your local community or perhaps through a formalized pro bono program in your organization. But for those who don’t, someone out there needs you, your expertise and your perspective. Please consider making a change in 2013.
Start small. Think big. You won’t regret it.