“Time is Money”
When I think back to a time when money was not so relevant in life, I think back to volunteering my time in high school and in college. Some friends and I volunteered for the Big Brothers Big Sisters in Omaha and Good Samaritan in Hastings. What I took away from the experience is that my time spent doing things for others was much more valuable than any money spent for a product or service that would attempt to do the same. It was also a humbling experience – more so than any paycheck could reflect!
Every week, a friend and I would volunteer for the Big Brothers Big Sisters back in Omaha. Originally it was just a resume builder as a part of National Honor Society, but it grew to be something so much more. Oddly enough, our “littles” happened to be brother and sister so I think our experience hit like we were a part of the family. The single mom, who was going through a divorce, managed a restaurant and had little time to spend with her kids so she valued our time spent with her kids a lot! I think it helped for the “littles” too, especially mine, to be able to talk about some of their issues in life (especially the divorce), even if they did not know it at the time.
In Hastings, I used to volunteer at Good Samaritan as well. A psychology class urged us to volunteer for a good cause, so another friend and I took our instructor’s charge and started showing up at Good Samaritan on Wednesday nights. We soon learned that anyone who is anyone showed up at Good Sam on Wednesday nights. Why? Bingo night. That’s right. Within the first few minutes we were already assisting elderly individuals in playing bingo, hearing the numbers, and distributing prizes. After the first night, we had made some new friends that made us WANT to return in subsequent weeks. Plus, we even received a few prizes for our assistance in bingo!
What I learned and will never forget from these experiences were the relationships we had built. In addition, the gratitude of others for being selfless was a wonderful feeling in which to wrap oneself in on a cold day. Our time was essentially money for them. They did not have to spend money to receive care, assistance, or someone to just talk to. I think that is worth more than anything money can buy.
Please volunteer if you get the chance, especially in Hastings. The people here need and deserve any special attention just as much as anyone else would in a bigger city. Plus you will be glad for the feeling you receive from doing such a good deed. It will be something I will never forget – especially when I continue volunteering again!
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