Self Sacrifice

Have you felt it? Everything is decorated, cheerful, and the holiday season is just about perfect. Except maybe that one moment… that moment when you’re driving, lying in bed, or maybe sitting in church and feel just a little tug that you need to be doing more to give back. We all vow right then that things will change. We’ll give more to charity, volunteer more, or just do more to be helpful.

Photo provided by: Lynn Clay

While we may have the best intentions, many times we run up against an obstacle that derails our path. We may make that extra end of the year donation, but get stalled on giving back our time. Understandably so as it can be overwhelming. Most of us are struggling every day just to fit in everything we have to do, much less take on something new. And if we do find the time, where do we start?

Noel Fenderson’s (of My Town Movers) advice on giving back is to start with what resonates with your heart and where you feel led to get involved. “For me, I wake up and say ‘God, how can you use me as a vessel today?’. I feel like every time you pray that prayer, at some point throughout your day or week you’re going to have a situation come up. And if you go into it with an open heart and open mind, then you’ll start noticing the opportunities that you would have missed.”

Photo provided by: Ellen Humerickhouse

Can it be that easy? For those like Noel, whose moving company strives to give away a move a month, it started with simply being open-minded to the needs of others and then applying the resources that we already have. We all have different resources, and far too often we underestimate them or we under utilize them. We all have talents and training we use everyday in our work, whether a bank teller conversing with a client or a full-time parent pouring into our children. Giving back what we do everyday may just be the best way to enrich the lives of others around us, while being the most realistic way of fitting it in our schedules.

When faced with an opportunity, it’s natural to think “I can’t move the needle on that. I won’t make a difference. I don’t have the time.” But once we evaluate the resources we have and the skill set we’ve acquired thus far in life, we can all find a situation where we’re needed and be a meaningful solution. Now more than ever, with tools like social media, individuals have the opportunity to make an impact.

Photo provided by: Keith Potts, United Soccer Club

This year, when that moment comes, that little tug… what if we all just committed to giving back the gift of what we do best, to one person in need? Who do you know that it would make their Christmas if you used your talents to help them? Maybe, Ms. Accountant, you could help some struggling families with their taxes. Or Mr. Mechanic, you could help with some needed car repairs. Maybe you’re great at cooking a perfect Christmas ham and you cook a few extra this season.

Those featured in this continuing article had a moment and took action. Just average folks, doing their thing, that decided to act. Their actions sparked more actions and lives changed. When we tap into our time, our talents, our influence, and our networks, we can leverage these resources in a meaningful way to create positive change. We invite you to read their stories and consider with us a community where everyone gives back just a little of what they already do. It might just be that easy.

See more individual stories on the following pages.