Giving is a Simple Thing
As of July 1, I am donating 10% of my gross revenues to an organization I support (wlrv.org). This is on going through 12/31, at which point I will again donate 10% to an organization that does work in alignment with my values.
It’s so simple. It allows me to put action behind my values. It also means my clients have a stake in where their dollars are spent.
For the majority of the years I’ve been coaching, I’ve had at least 10% of my practice committed to serving clients on a pro bono basis. For a time, many of those pro bono clients were transitioning from public assistance through the Work Together Project at Workforce Boulder County.
Other pro bono clients were career changers who could not afford my fees, but who were so motivated and self-aware, it was a pleasure coaching them. I found over the years that when I reserve a specific portion of my effort to giving back in some way, my life runs easier.
Many would relate the 10% to a tithe, and that has merit, but it makes sense as well when you realize how deeply my values are rooted in my cultural background. You many remember the post I wrote about the Cajun Navy a few weeks back, pulling together after the devastating floods.
I learned from birth that families pull together, neighbors pull together, we all pull together. In the home, in the workplace, everywhere.
Volunteering has been a part of who I am, always. If you have known me for any amount of time, you have seen me in action. I sit on boards, I crochet yarn bombs, I organize meetups.
If I can, I will.
I think that truism comes from my core belief in the oneness of humanity. There is more to celebrate in our likeness than to judge in our separateness.
When you know in the core of your being that what you have to contribute is needed by someone else, then you don’t hesitate when asked. Ultimately, you’re giving to yourself.
That’s true even when I can’t see at the time whether my contribution mattered. I’m crocheting loveys to donate to an organization that supports rescued trafficked children. Ages 6 to 9. Will the little huggy-toy I crochet make a difference to a child? I have no way of knowing. Yet, I rally the troops and donate a handful – off we ship them with love and trust.
When I was driving back and forth to the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility (100 miles round trip, weekly) to volunteer teaching coaching skills, I had no idea what would be the long-term impact of my being there. Still don’t. Yet I know I made a difference.
I showed up every time I said I would, I connected as deeply as I’m capable, and my honest acceptance dropped inner defenses. They don’t know my name or where I lived and I don’t know theirs – that’s there for protection – but I know they will carry my words and my heartfelt presence with them. As I carry them with me.
When I look at the harvest of my life, I can’t help but feel the gratitude overflow. I volunteer and give back because I can make a difference. That feels really good.
It’s one of the ways that makes life feel fulfilled. Everyone wins.
It’s so simple.
I’d love to hear your experience of giving back. How do you let your blessings overflow?