Charity is a great act of SELFISH SELFLESSNESS!

Both volunteering and donating are charitable, extremely selfless and generous acts of kindness…  That being said…not many people donate anonymously and I’m pretty sure its impossible to volunteer anonymously.  Many people support charities for selfish reasons…which in my opinion is GREAT….KEEP DOING IT!!!  Whether its for because you personally believe in that specific charity’s mission….have a friend or family member that’s been impacted by that mission…or that works there…or to help yourself manage your finances…be more grateful for what you have…or even functionally get some sort of tax relief…or because you enjoy seeing the impact on the community that you live in…or the first hand experience of the emotions brought upon by this good will in the faces and eyes of those less fortunate…or simply because it allows you to do something that no one else would otherwise pay you for…like running an event….or in my case cooking for people!

I donate money to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, American Red Cross, and La Casa Norte (a Chicago based non-profit serving youth and families confronting homelessness)…they are all great organizations, with great missions, and I highly suggest you check them out and see if you have any money you could part with that they could benefit from…or time…

I volunteer cooking lunch and dinner meals for the La Casa Norte Logan Square youth drop in center on Tuesdays because they need to feed young children confronting homelessness…and I love to cook…and I’m learning to cook for larger groups…and I probably wouldn’t get hired or have time for an entry level line cook or catering job….and Cooking is Meditation for me…and they need the help…and I’M HELPING!

I volunteer at the Logan Square Farmers Market as a Compost/Landfill Disposal Coordinator (I made that title up…mainly I help people figure out what bin their waste should go in) because there are a ton of compostable materials at a farmers market and most people aim for the thing that looks like a giant trashcan…and it gets me out of the house on a Sunday morning…it’s great people watching and forest bathing (it feels like a forest because the sun is peaking through the trees and there are all types of plants, fruits, vegetables and animals…mainly dogs… around)… the people are really nice and grateful (not just the staff but the attendees)… and I get to go to the Farmers Market to browse after i’m done…and they need help…and I’M HELPING!

I feel like my volunteering acts of charity have much more of an impact on my life than the monthly donations…which have much more of a negative impact on my finances….of course the volunteering has much more of a negative impact on my time…or does it…in the end I’m doing it in part for selfish reasons (I’m sure they don’t mind)…but volunteering can have a huge impact on your life, especially if you are looking for your dream….you might just find it in a volunteering opportunity…don’t stop donating….just add volunteering…it’s much more rewarding! (Selfishly)

I will leave this message with a challenging thought to provoke this paradox….what if we volunteered at or donated to a charity non-profit that we didn’t selfishly agree with or somehow get something out of…what if there the donation or actual volunteering would somehow hurt our “Self”….imagine the possibilities….how it could open our minds and test our patience and acceptance.. everyone is suffering…no ones suffering is any more valid than anyone else’s…The Struggle is REAL…and THAT’S OK!

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