As many of you know, I volunteer every week at Mount Sinai Hospital at the Martha Stewart Center for Living. Giving selflessly to help others is always good for the soul. Not only are you helping to bring some happiness, joy, and light to those less fortunate or less capable, but you are also creating happiness, joy, and light within yourself. I find that if I am ever feeling down about my life for whatever reason (as I am only human and can’t be chipper everyday and every hour!), when I do charity work, things are always put into perspective and is the best remedy to help lift my spirits, better than having spirits in a cocktail sense .
I work with seniors who are enrolled at the hospital for treatment for illness or temporary sickness. My committee helps to lift their spirits by making art and crafts, such as necklaces, bookmarks, holiday cards, pressed flowers, and other hand-made crafts depending on the holiday. For example, last Halloween we used mini pumpkins and decorated them with beads, ribbons, and whatever our creative minds told us to use. I was so impressed with their creativity! Check out the pumpkins they created!
We also play Bingo with them and hold wellness seminars with topics anywhere from living a joyful life in your old age to compassion, love, and forgiveness.
Here is an old photo of one of my fellow volunteers, Maria, and one of the seniors, Dorothy. We had the seniors make Chinese New Year door hangers! I have always liked spending my time with people who are older than I am. I enjoy hearing their words of wisdom and find their paths quite inspirational. Most of the seniors I work with are women in their 80s and 90s. Many of them are widowed. It is a known fact that men pass away before their spouses do because women tend to be healthier and live longer. These women are an inspiration to me every week because of their resilience and independence. I can’t imagine myself being alone at that age, with their children grown and their husbands deceased, and being happy. But these seniors always come with a smile on their faces, despite their occasional sickness, and they lean on each other for friendship and support.
Here is a photo of Nina (who is 91 years old!) and Carol with their hand-made necklaces. It always warms my heart to see them smile and happy with the hand-made, creative crafts they leave the hospital with on my volunteer days. It is great charity for my soul. And I mention this in my blog because it may be something that you can incorporate into your life to bring some fulfillment and satisfaction that may be lacking or just to add something different into your routine. Instead of going out to imbibe yourself with alcohol at a loud, noisy bar to de-stress from a hectic work week, why not do something like volunteer to clean-up a kids park? or work at a soup kitchen to serve food to the homeless? Giving selflessly in this type of world that we live is rare and is not easy. I certainly admire those who give their precious time to those less fortunate. You have to be happy with yourself and love yourself enough to know that you are overflowing with love and can give away that extra love. When you are at that place, you can volunteer in a more effective and helpful way to others .
Here are some wonderful photos of my volunteer work this week. I helped the seniors make hand-made beaded necklaces with just a thin metal wire and stray beads. I give all the credit to the seniors for choosing the beads and using their creativity to create the necklace that fits their personalities. As you can see, they were elated with their creations. And as usual every week, everyone including myself, left the hospital with smiles on our faces and our spirits lifted.
Remember, there are many, many ways to get involved in philanthropy in your community and in your city. Just find the volunteer group that fits your personality the best and get started on working on charity for your soul!!