Giving Tuesday Can Inspire Year-Round Hope

Giving Tuesday may be only once a year, but giving your time can have year-round (and even life-long) impacts. I've been lucky enough to work with great organizations over the years to give back.

By:
Sarah Smith
Community
Giving Tuesday Can Inspire Year-Round Hope

Giving Tuesday happens only once a year.  But the benefits reaped from giving someone your time, by volunteering, are year-round. While volunteering can be a difficult task to prioritize, the positive impact it has on the recipient and the volunteer is immeasurable.

Did you know that volunteering has been proven to counteract the effects of stress, combat depression, and provide a sense of purpose? In other words, volunteering your time has the power to make you happy!

I didn’t realize the immense reward I would receive when I started volunteering years ago.  Initially, I turned to volunteering when I didn’t have the means to donate money.  I figured if I couldn’t financially support a charity, the least I could do was to donate my time. Since then, I’ve realized the incredibly positive impact volunteering has had on my life. I encourage anyone who can donate a small piece of their valuable time to do so, and do so often.

Making an Impact on Students

My most recent “passion” for the last two years, has been volunteering with MBA Research & Curriculum Center, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the research, development, and dissemination of materials for teachers of business management, marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, and hospitality management.  MBA Research is committed to ensuring students have the skills and knowledge to succeed in the business world.  

The organization reached out to me as an expert in marketing(I took that to mean I have been in marketing a long, long time).  What made this not-for-profit so attractive to me was that I can provide input on the knowledge and skills young students need to succeed in the future.  One thing I have noticed over the years is how poorly prepared young graduates are for the real world.  They have a full understanding of marketing concepts, but not always the knowledge to apply those concepts.  I feel that I am having a direct impact on what students are taught – what is valuable in the real world. MBA Research fit into my busy schedule perfectly – not too much commitment required, with lifelong benefits to those involved.  

“Engagement with the business community is a critical component of our work. The feedback we receive is industry-pure and adds currency and relevance to our standards. ”Rick Mangini, Executive Vice President, MBA Research.

MBA Research is committed to connecting business and industry with education. They do this through their Executive Advisory Network – ExecNet.  ExecNet is a diverse network of business and industry professionals who are committed to sharing their knowledge about what it takes for employees to succeed in the business world and in the workplace. ExecNet members contribute their knowledge by answering short monthly surveys, serving on focus panels, and presenting at an annual conference.  

ExecNet member feedback is incorporated into primary and secondary research for the National Business Administration Standards, where it becomes the basis for what is taught in high school and post secondary classrooms nationwide.  

You too can make a difference in students’ lives and shape tomorrow’s workforce today, learn more about joining this spectacular initiative here

The End of Domestic Violence

In 2019 and early 2020, I wanted to take my volunteering to a whole new level.  The cause needed to be important and the level of investment greater than ever before.  I researched several women’s causes and decided to focus on one that could be life changing for other women.  As someone who has never shied away from extremely difficult challenges, I became a PS417 volunteer with SafeNest.

SafeNest has been on the forefront of ending domestic violence since 1977.  This incredible organization is committed to providing assistance and education in Southern Nevada.  SafeNest strives to address the domestic violence cycle of abuse at its root.

A PS417 volunteer must have the highest level of compassion and understanding in the most challenging of situations.  A PS417volunteer works alongside the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in responding to domestic violence calls (police code 417).  The volunteer works with the victim to provide access to SafeNest’s resources after the suspect has been removed from the premises. Entering the premises immediately after the domestic violence incident is never easy, but always worth it. Since the launch of PS417 volunteers, Las Vegas has seen a decrease in domestic violence related homicides.  Working with the domestic violence victims is humbling.

SafeNest is always in need of support– from clothing to fiscal donations, and your time.  

Dog Days

I have always been a dog lover.  The bigger the dog the better!  And in my opinion, nothing is better or more majestic than a German Shepherd Dog (GSD). They are the epitome of strength, fearlessness, and loyalty.  This dog breed is not for everyone—they are active, very active. GSDs need proper training and handling. These dogs are very smart, sometimes smarter than their owners! Unfortunately, too many people buy a GSD and once they are grown and unruly due to lack of training and attention, their owners dump them.  Through no fault of their own, many of these wonderful dogs end up in high kill shelters.  The lucky ones go to rescues like Vegas Shepherd Rescue (VSR).

I rescued one of our German Shepherd Dogs from VSR (yes, I have two). Since 2012, VSR has been rescuing and rehabilitating GSDs and getting them ready for their forever homes. This organization is doing great work, but these dogs have an expensive diet and VSR is always in need of donations.

In Conclusion

Volunteering takes many forms, from donating your time to inspire the future, shedding hope to a new start, or giving an old dog a new home.  I encourage everyone to volunteer at some point in their lives.  You can change the life of a child, victim, animal – and even yourself along the way. Don’t just give back this Giving Tuesday – give the recurring gift of your time, knowledge, and love.  In doing so, you might surprise yourself with rewards that give back to you.

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