By Colleen Riggle
If you had all the time in the world to volunteer, what would you volunteer to do/where would you volunteer?
Considering that I’m not qualified to be a Secret Millionaire, I’d probably be working at a shelter, whether for people or animals. Secret Millionaire is probably one of my favorite new shows on television. And it’s a good change from Criminal Minds, Without a Trace, and C.S.I. which I’ve seen practically every episode. I love the meaning behind the show, successful business people giving back to a community in a positive way. Sure, they volunteer for a week and write a check and it doesn’t appear that there is an ongoing relationship but I get the sense that everyone involved is changed by the process.
For me, at the end of every show after crying my eyes out partly because I’m 4 months pregnant and partly because it’s moving to see the excitement in their eyes when they receive the checks, I say to my husband “I want to be a secret millionaire”. His reply is usually, “we need to be millionaires” first. Granted I’m not a millionaire, yet, but recognize there is more I can do and that’s give my time – something we all have, whether we’d claim plenty of or just a little bit.
But back to the question, when I volunteer I usually find myself drawn to work with women transitioning from a violent situation or work with animals. I remember one winter away at college, living in Michigan I’d went with a friend to an animal shelter because she wanted to get a cat and it was the same shelter I’d volunteered at before. We walked around looking at all the animals, she not finding one, but I ended up being the one headed home with a kitten. The kitten ironically lived with me, on campus (shhhh) for a few weeks before making an eventful trip down to Florida to stay with my parents for a bit. For several years while I lived in Florida, I volunteered at the Crisis Center as an NEP nurse and was on call monthly to sit with victims of violent situations. Additionally, I find working with elderly quite rewarding as well, although defining myself as introverted just being able to sit with someone to give them a little company just warms my heart.
Volunteering can manifesting itself in many ways, whether you give money to an organization, donate your time or whether you raise awareness through conversation. What I like most about Secret Millionaire is they are working with organizations that aren’t nationally known, and in most cases would probably not give a second look to if you were driving by. I like that a small soup kitchen started by two women who are now in their 80’s was recognized for the work they do daily in the lives of the people whom they touch through a plate of food.
How about you? Do you volunteer? What would you volunteer to do? Where would you volunteer?
Interested in volunteering? Here are a couple site that might help you get started: