My first experience with doing charity work was when I was in my high school. The school was collecting food and clothes to pass on to children with special needs and they needed an extra pair of hands to help them delivering it. So I volunteered, mostly to get out of the school and enjoy a walk in the sunshine, I have to admit.
The work itself was nothing special or difficult. I helped sorting things, packing them, loading them in the car and then taking them to the children’s house. But I also had a chance to walk around and meet those children we came for. And that was a moving experience. Not because it was the first time I saw people in need, but probably because it was the first time that I realized how much help is actually needed.
Since then I participated in a few different causes and donations. And while I can’t say that I’ve done a lot of charity work (I’m definitely planning on improving that), I made certain discoveries along the way and would like to share them with you.
Help is always needed
Growing up in Africa I saw a lot of people living beyond poverty. That was a daily background of my life there. The struggle there was raw and open for everyone to see. Moving to Europe and living here for some time gradually erased that scenery from my mind. So it was surprising to find out that just as much struggle is happening here too, but it is a bit hidden and may look a bit different. It can hide behind beautiful facades and can go unnoticed in a regular crowd. But the point is – help is always needed, you just need to make an effort to notice and research to find where exactly.
It’s not just things
Poverty is ugly, debilitating and devastating, there is no doubt about that. But it’s not just material help that the world needs. It’s also attention, genuine interest, love and respect, opportunities for growth and development that we can share with others to make their lives better. So even when you don’t have a thing to give, you can always donate your time and attention to charity and it would be just as valuable, if not more.
Doing the right thing is difficult
Charity work can be difficult and demanding. It can drain you physically and emotionally sometimes. It can be hard to keep yourself motivated to do it continuously. It takes your time from people and projects that can be potentially “more beneficial” for your future. And it’s still “work”, which means that you get tired and bored, and you can have conflicts with people there, and you don’t feel like a fluffy angel coming back home from this. But at the end of the day, it’s alright, because you feel that you are doing something valuable, which is worth your effort.
That is probably the most important and reassuring thing that you find out once you start doing charity work – there are so many people who care and want to help. I’m the kind of person who believes that people are kind and caring by nature, but don’t always show that. So seeing a crowd of people participating in a cause, willingly donating their time and efforts to those in need, is very heart-warming and can easily restore your faith in humanity.
I hope this small list of discoveries I made doing charity work will inspire you to contribute more to the world and the society around you! Wishing you best of luck in your efforts and would love to hear about your own experience.