It’s getting to be that time of year again where everyone is starting to feel warm and fuzzy, and many of us want to find a way to give back. I was recently introduced to the 25 Days, 25 Ways to Give campaign where Create the Good makes it easy to connect to volunteer opportunities right in your own community. I’ve always been a huge proponent of giving back in any way that I can, so I was really excited when the opportunity to share this initiative with you came up!
How I give back.
The biggest way that I’ve been able to give back to my community is through my involvement in a program called Swimable. I am a volunteer swim instructor with Swimable, and every Sunday I have the opportunity to teach children with special needs water skills. For some of the kids we are simply trying to teach them that water isn’t terrifying, but for some others we are able to teach them strokes and breathing techniques in hopes that they can compete in Special Olympics. It might not sound like much but it really is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever been a part of. Being there when a kid willingly puts his head in the water for the first time, or floats on her back unassisted is just an amazing feeling, and it’s really unparalleled to anything else I’ve ever experienced. Beyond the kids’ excitement I also have to mention the parents. The team I am a part of is truly amazing, and we often push our kids to make big achievements fast. Seeing how shocked and excited the parents are when their little one does something awesome really keeps me motivated to keep pushing the kiddos to do their best. I might be giving back to the community with my involvement in Swimable, but every single day those kids are giving back to me. There is nothing I look forward to more after a long and stressful week than getting in the pool with the kids and making things happen, and there is no other way I’d rather spend my Sunday evenings. I get as much from being a part of Swimable as the kids do, and I really think that reciprocal relationship is a sign that I’m doing what I need to be doing.
How can you give back?
So my heart is with the Swimable Kiddos, and that is where I am able to give back – but there are options for everyone no matter where your heart lies. Some are big commitments, but others are things that you can do in just a few moments a day. If you’re feeling lost or uninspired you can check out the 25 Days, 25 Ways to Give initiative that gives you 25 days worth of good deeds and ways that you can give back to your community. They have everything from donating clothes that you no longer wear, to taking an elderly person in your life to the doctor. Small things that you do can really make a difference! Nothing is too small when it comes to giving back and one small good deed can really have a ripple effect resulting in others following in your footsteps. Consider making it a point to do one good deed every single day throughout the length of the campaign (and after!) Spreading the good is easy, all that it takes is people who are willing to put in a small amount of effort and lead by example. To sweeten the deal, participating will give you a chance to be entered to win a trip to Smuggler’s Notch Resort in Vermont or a $100 Visa gift card, so long as you join at 25 Days, 25 Ways to Give.