"Life is not about taking in only, it's giving out too." Taking time to volunteer and give of yourself is extremely worthwhile, especially when helping those who can't help themselves.
In college, I was the member of Alpha Sigma Alpha, a sorority which not only helped me to foster relationships with people I know, but also to learn about how to help and care for others that I don't.
A motto we often used was this, "Life isn't about taking in only, but it's giving out too."
Now, nearly two years out of school, I am taking that motto to heart more and more by spending time volunteering at the local humane society shelter. I am a "cat buddy." Every weekend, I wake up early in hopes of helping prepare another cat or kitten to go home with a loving family.
Even at 8 a.m. on a Saturday the shelter is bubbling with people there to love and support the dozens of pets who are searching for their "forever friend." I believe the popularity of the shelter, even early in the morning shows that the benefits of volunteering are never ending.
Volunteering helps people connect to the world in a positive way.
It helps people to realize that there is more to life than making money, being popular and driving fancy cars. Volunteering is humbling. It's good for the soul, not to mention good for the community that you live in.
According to www.volunteeringinamerica.gov, the national average of people who volunteered was nearly 27 percent each year in the year's 2006 to 2008.
The 27 percent mark is made up of people of all ages. Volunteering in America's statistics show that there is not any one age group that volunteers more than another. That just goes to show that anyone who wants to find a way to give of themselves can easily do so.
I just happen to love animals and love the idea of giving a voice to those who can't speak for themselves.
Humans dominate the world and it's our job to advocate for every dog and cat on this earth. We should be there to feed them, clean them and most of all, to love them.
Whether I am cleaning out a cage, preparing fresh food and water or just petting a cat I know that I am making a difference in the life of another creature.
Sadly, millions of animals enter humane societies like the one in my hometown each year. Unfortunately, a majority of the animals don't make it out.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, anywhere between six and eight million dogs and cats enter the shelters across our country each year. Unfortunately, that means anywhere between three and four million are not adopted or are too sick and need to be euthanized.
Even though I know that I can't help every pet, knowing that I helped some has truly made a difference in my life. It leaves me feeling fulfilled knowing that I did my best to help foster a positive community to live in not only for the animals, but for the people too.