Volunteering, at least for me, is more than a way of giving back. It’s a life-changer.
After having been a member of Cathedral of Hope for three years and witnessing firsthand the level of volunteer-driven impact that its congregation was making locally, I knew I had to become involved. I began as a volunteer leader for Project 1999, an initiative whose goal was to reach out into the immediate neighborhood and uplift it through providing services and school supplies for our adopted elementary school (whose majority population at the time lived at or below the poverty level), cleaning up the neighborhood, planting trees, and generally taking charge of bringing hope to the immediate area.
At the time, I was working on completing an MBA program while running an extremely successful, well-respected and profitable business. As I become more involved with the volunteer outreach opportunities, I eventually gave in to that nagging lifelong directive of working to change the lives of the underserved, marginalized, and forgotten. Following a lengthy period of great reflection and soul-searching, I sold my business and became the volunteer part-time director of community outreach program. As the program grew and as graduation from the MBA program came and went, I was asked to be the full-time director of community outreach – the most fulfilling and rewarding career investment I have ever made.
Seeking to fulfill another lifelong dream of living on a tropical island, I moved to Maui and opened and ran another award-winning business. In thirteen years living in paradise, there was a major element missing: volunteering in Dallas.
I would encourage anyone who is feeling the call to give to step forward and answer that call – even if on the level of one hour per month. The participation in one Dallas Hope Charities outreach event may very well change your life, too.