“We rise by lifting others.” ~Robert Ingersoll
For the past couple weeks, Luke and I have done some volunteering at Food Bank of the Rockies. Luke needs 50 hours of volunteer work to graduate next June. When he and i were sitting down and weighing his options for volunteer opportunities, we decided on the food bank because we wanted to make an impact for people who are struggling with food scarcity, whether it be as a result of the pandemic or homelessness or other unfortunate, unseen circumstances. We are a lucky family because our biggest decisions regarding food are whether to stop at King Soopers or Target for groceries and whether to cook dinner at home or hit up the local food truck. But we aren’t blind. We see the growing homeless situation in Denver and the lines at food pantries since April of last year. So, the Food Bank of the Rockies it was.
Over our three shifts so far, Luke and I have sorted food, loaded and moved pallets for shipments to food pantries, and even prepared school lunches. And we enjoyed it. A lot. We walk in for our 3-hour shift and the next thing we know we are finished. The employees, as well as the other volunteers, have been helpful and kind. There is something about giving back, even in the smallest way, that can make a messed world seem more positive. Like the quote above, my spirit is raised when I do what I can to lift someone else in their time of difficulty. Instead of wringing my hands at the sky over things I can’t control, I can contribute in a positive way. It feels good. Maybe it’s the endorphins from lifting and carrying cases of food but, dang, that warehouse brings me joy and peace of mind.
Turns out you really can’t buy happiness, but you can step up and volunteer to get it.
As much as I try to give it away, love keeps returning to me, tenfold.
Indeed, when we give, how curious it is that we in fact get something for ourselves out of it.
I love this post. Most of my own volunteerism has been around food, whether it is working in a community garden, preparing holiday baskets, or signing my friends and family up to spend a shift cooking a meal at the youth shelter. It always brings me joy, and reminds me how far I come, and how blessed I am.
I think it’s important to acknowledge that volunteerism helps not just those who need help but also those who help. It sounds like you know this well too.