Volunteering

Spirit of Volunteerism

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This week is National Volunteer Week (April 23-29, 2017)! In celebration of this special week, I, along with around 1,100 Orange County community members, attended OneOC’s annual Spirit of Volunteerism luncheon at the Disneyland Hotel. This event honored volunteers, nonprofits and companies for their contributions within Orange County.

I believe volunteers contribute greatly to the success of our nation. It is through kind, generous and giving hearts, hands, ears and eyes that people feel loved, needed, wanted, and cared for. Our community grows and inspiration spreads through the spirit of compassion and I hope this generosity only continues to grow.

As I have previously mentioned, I want to share some ways to get started with searching for organizations and volunteer opportunities, and the many different categories that Orange County nonprofits serve.

A great database to narrow down and find nonprofits that align with your category of interest is OC Nonprofit Central, which is supported by the Orange County Community Foundation. Another great organization that conveniently lists available volunteer opportunities is OneOC.

This blog isn’t meant for me to give advice, so I’ll just give you my shiny two cents: Just go for it! If you know your interest (for example, I am passionate about homeless and children’s causes) begin searching and learning more about the organizations out there! Reach out and contact someone from the organization and find out more! Volunteering and getting involved begins somewhere. There are many degrees of volunteering and various ways to contribute. Figure out what makes you feel fulfilled and what you want to do, and don’t be afraid to dabble. Finding a nonprofit that you feel connected to and deeply for doesn’t necessarily come easily, so be patient, explore and have fun and learn while you’re doing so! You may even feel inspired in the process 🙂

 

A Celebration of Children

Saturday April 22nd was my seventh year attending CASA’s annual Celebration of Children’s Black & White Ball.

CASA is an organization I have been involved with since college, initially because it was my sorority’s national charity (Kappa Alpha Theta). Volunteering and getting involved within my community have always been fulfilling for me and the mission of CASA had captured my heart, so upon graduating, I decided to get further involved as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). I went through training and within a couple months was officially sworn into the court system by an Orange County judge to be an advocate. That was in late 2010 and since then, I have had two cases.

I can go on and on about my experience and love for CASA, but the inspiration behind this post is to share that each year I am consistently in awe of the generosity and compassion our local philanthropists have. I’ve come to see that when someone feels  and understands a cause, he or she will give – whether it be their time, talent or treasure.  The CASA Gala is always a fun reminder of this – people spontaneously raising their bid paddles to donate $100,000…. $50,000… it just wows me away!

There are several ways to get involved with a cause or organization you feel near and dear to. In a later post, I will share resources that can help get you started. I believe that so many of us want to get involved – it’s a matter of knowing where and how to begin and also having a little thing called time (unless it’s your treasure you want to share).