When it comes to giving back, everyone wins!
At this time of year when we gather to give thanks for all that we have, it’s a good time to take the opportunity to consider how we might “give back.” Since 1919, Assistance League has served as a nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization of volunteers helping the less fortunate. Today, across the USA, 120 chapters through their member volunteers address the emotional, educational and physical needs of children and adults in their local communities regardless of race or creed.
How does Assistance League garner such volunteer support to carry out its mission? The call to “give back” may seem like a tired, overused phrase, but finding a way to deepen the emotional and tangible connection between a person, family or business and the community has never been more necessary and important. Giving back is among the most important and valuable things a person can do. Giving back is when you give and then nothing happens–you receive no benefit, no recognition, nothing tangible. Your biggest and sole reward is the realization that you have made a significant or positive change in someone else’s life.
Contributing to society has many rewards and there are many ways to get involved. Since there are almost an unlimited number of causes to choose from, it is important to know who you are supporting:
- Understand the cause. Assistance League’s flagship program is dressing schoolchildren. That is the one program all the chapters have in common. Each chapter then addresses the specific needs of its community with a variety of other programs which may encompass health needs, basic needs, education and literacy needs, and cultural needs.
- Understand how your support will be employed or publicized. Financial contributions at the national or local level are always welcomed and recognition for donors can range from a thank-you letter to recognition at events. Chapters are always looking for new member volunteers. If you might be interested in joining a local chapter, check out what is available in your area.
- Make certain the organization is transparent and properly organized and registered as a 501(c)(3). National Assistance League® is properly registered as are all the chapters, either under the national umbrella or in their own right. To encourage transparency, the national and chapter websites provide financial information and links to their respective donor policies and privacy policies.
- Establish a personal relationship. Contact the local chapter and begin a dialogue with the Membership Chairman. The chairman will introduce you to others in the organization and discuss with you the benefits of membership.
- Get to know the character of the organization and its volunteers. Assistance League believes that providing compassionate and caring services to individuals in communities across the nation is the standard and the primary measure of our organization. We believe we exist for the sole purpose of providing philanthropic services to meet the challenges posed by a diverse array of compelling individual and community needs through our myriad, committed volunteers.
- Your contributions should have a tangible measurable impact on your community and the organization through which you are serving. Even with a large national charity, such as Assistance League, you can become a change agent at the local chapter level.
You don’t have to be rich to make a difference. Millions of ordinary Americans give time or money to charities for the sake of making the world a better place. Giving to those who can never pay you back is the most rewarding experience of all. It is a great opportunity to see the change that you can make in your own life and in your community. Assistance League has been making a difference for 95 years; we encourage you to find a local chapter and get started “giving back.”
Giving back involves a certain amount of giving up.
It is in the practice of giving we learn, grow, and expand our perspectives, which proves that real achievements come out of giving.
Kindness is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon another. If someone is in need, lend them a helping hand. Do not wait for a thank-you. True kindness lies within the act of giving without the expectation of something in return.