As some of you know, I’ve been honored to be a part of this year’s Leadership Fort Collins class. I’ve learned a whole bunch, and developed great friendships with people around the city.
At the beginning of the year, they split us into small groups. Each group needs to pick its own project, and have that complete by May. There’s some really creative things going on!
My team decided to do a fund-raiser for Homeless Gear, a local charity which gives a hand up to those with a dire need. Fort Collins is an affluent community, in general, but there’s a shocking number of people who are living in their cars or shelters.
Most of them are scrounging every night for a place to sleep. And in mid February, it’s cold.
So our group is holding a fund- and donation-raising event this Saturday. We’re at 9 locations around the city, with 20 volunteers so far. This may well turn out to be the largest event that Homeless Gear has ever had.
I’m not mentioning this to raise funds or get kudos. Instead, I’d like you to think about how inspiring it is to make a difference to people in need.
It doesn’t have to be a charity. I’ve had the opportunity to teach free classes (in schools, at work, or at church) and it’s much the same experience.
I want to contribute to others, because I have such gratitude for what I’ve been given during my lifetime. And because I think that people are put here on earth to help each other through our difficult journeys.
Here’s the interesting question: Should I feel guilty because I feel better about contributing?
I think that the rush you get from helping out is actually a biological connection to why society works. Altruism does good for the recipient AND the giver.
Just make sure you’re contributing for the right reasons. No manipulation, no expectation of a specific return.
Giving is its own reward.