Give Your Heart

Jan 6, 2011 by Andrea H.

@mrshawaii tweeted this holiday season, "I've tried music; I've tried baking; but I just can't get in the holiday spirit." My response, "Try volunteering!"

If you haven't any cash to buy gifts and feel that the "Martha Stewart" gene doesn't exist in your DNA, then the one thing you have left to give, is yourself. Volunteers are often just as important to non-profit organizations as donations.

During the holiday season, I volunteered at the Santa Paws event with the Hawaiian Humane Society. The general public shows up with their pets for a group photo with Santa Claus. There were about 10 volunteers for the afternoon shift to help make this operation a success. One woman greeted and queued shoppers and their furry friends. Two women were seated taking names and money ($25 donation for a CD with a minimum of 4 pictures of you and your pet with Santa. I helped clients dress their pets with holiday costumes and collars. The photographer and her assistant helped seat the customers and get the attention of the pets with squeaky toys. Santa and Ms. Claus posed with hundreds of pets this holiday season. The last two volunteers were busy downloading the pictures onto the customer CD. Whew! Who knew it took so many people to run a donation drive. In just one day, we had over 70 groups participate raising over $1750. Not bad for a day's work. That money will help feed, shelter and provide medical care for animals waiting to be adopted into their forever home.

So, if hanging Christmas lights when the sun is blaring down on you in 80-degree weather isn't helping you get into the holiday spirt, consider giving a piece of your heart by volunteering your time with your favorite charity. I guarantee your heart will be warmed - and not just by the sun!


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