People come together for a good cause. It’s a beautiful, moving reminder that, amidst greed and selfishness, there is also generosity and benevolence.
I spent some time volunteering with an organization called Beautiful Day last weekend, and the nonprofit truly does bring beautiful days to many. This particular project was at a local high school: the teachers’ lounge was renovated, upgraded, and stocked with necessities. I didn’t go to school here (in fact, my high school is halfway across the globe), but I did see the vision. With budget cuts to school districts most everywhere, this was a much-needed refresh for –and a way to give back to– the educators of our youth.
Beautiful day does projects like this across many locales, several times a year. I’ve volunteered with them once before, helping out at a senior care center where we visited the residents and gave their garden a makeover. I’ve had other friends work with the organization to rebuild playgrounds, paint classrooms, and work with special-needs children.
If it feels this good to be a volunteer, I can’t even imagine how the organizers feel. They hold full-time jobs and still manage to bring together a thousand volunteers –crossing age, genders, ethnicities, and economic status– in a single weekend. They do it in addition to bringing in donations, supplies, and skilled laborers like carpenters and electricians; and they do it all with bright smiles and kind words. One such organizer is my friend Wendy (the reason I volunteered); despite holding a stressful job in a high-tech company, she works tirelessly to help Beautiful Day succeed. Her dedication inspires me. If she can selflessly devote her time to charitable causes throughout the year, then surely I can sacrifice a mere afternoon for a worthy purpose.
This Thanksgiving, one of the many things I’m thankful for is to altruistic organizations like Beautiful Day, and for individuals like Wendy, who lead by example, working to bring brighter, more beautiful days to our community.
For more information on Beautiful Day, please visit http://beautifulday.org