blog 5When I was 5, I decided that I wanted to do something with my spare time to assist those in my community, so I started helping seniors that lived on my block. In 3rd grade, I discovered a senior center next to my elementary school and began to walk daily to the center, and surprisingly, I found exactly what I was looking for.

I was there to volunteer, to keep the elderly company, but what I gained from spending my time with them was far richer and fulfilling than anything I could have imagined.

It is a universal truth, that in helping others, you help yourself. I was fortunate enough to learn this at a very young age, and it has helped shape my life. I learned that giving back does not need to be in a monetary form, it just needs to be from the heart.

In Family Giving Tree’s mission statement, we talk about inspiring the values of kindness, philanthropy and volunteerism. If there is one legacy I hope to leave behind, it is passing the spark of volunteerism and giving back, to future generations. I want more and more people to volunteer each year and learn the love that comes from that.

When you select a card for our Holiday Wish Drive, consider taking your children with you to purchase the gifts. This gesture alone can ignite the “giving back” spark within them. By including your children, you are teaching future generations about the importance of giving back. In volunteering your time together, you are selecting a present, which brings joy to someone in need. You may not have the opportunity to volunteer in our warehouse, but taking this time with your children to enrich a life in their community, is volunteerism.

My hope is that 40 years from now; every person will live in a world where giving is a natural part of life. Thank you for doing your part in igniting this spark within your families, and passing the volunteerism bug to future generations.