Ask Not What Your Community Can Do For You.
Amidst the chaos of parenting while working, we know it’s nearly impossible to find the time to give back. For many of us, the closest we have come in years to the joy of giving is the thrill of gaining more closet space after sending the kids' outgrown clothes and toys to Goodwill.
Would it make you more inclined to do the right thing if you learned that volunteering and giving back are good for your health? Indeed, scientists believe that the act of giving triggers the release of endorphins, creating a “helper’s high” that counteracts stress and depression. So, you’ll be making a contribution, teaching your kids about helping those less fortunate and getting a personal rush all at the same time.
Although it feels virtually impossible to fit into a hectic working-mom schedule, volunteering – even a few times a year – is a great way to stay connected to your better self. To find opportunities that are right for you, consult www.volunteermatch.org, a site dedicated to helping everyone find a place to volunteer. The organization offers a variety of online services to help you choose a cause that you're passionate about. Whether it’s walking dogs at animal shelters, delivering meals to the homeless or helping new immigrants prepare tax returns, you’re sure to find an opportunity that matches your skills, interests and schedule.
However you contribute to your community, don’t forget to talk to your kids about it. They’ll learn about social justice and the very powerful personal satisfaction that comes from helping others.