Today's post is part of the Healthy Living Tuesdays' January series, "For a Good Cause," for Healthy Living Blogs.
One of the things I loved the most about 2012 was that I became involved in pro bono work. Throughout undergrad, I worked multiple part-time jobs in order to make money for textbooks, off-term internship living expenses, etc. I think it was valuable for me to be working in addition to being a college student, but I wish I could have done more community service.
As a law student, things were so busy my first and second year that I just didn’t make it a priority to find time for pro bono work. This year has been different. You’re required to complete 40 pro bono hours to graduate from Columbia, so I decided to work with a brand new charter school helping the board design their employee and student handbooks. I’ve loved working with the school and I’m learning so much. What stands out to me is the fact that I’m using and broadening my skills to help others.
It’s made me eager to do other pro bono work and make sure that I make time for charitable endeavors. Doing this work reminded me of how enjoyable it is to use my skills for something other than just to earn money, so I signed up with a debate program for high school students where I’m coaching a high school senior in constitutional law debates. Working with a student is such a fun way to serve – and nothing makes you feel more grateful to be an adult than remembering what it was like to be a high school student. I also love mentoring (probably because I’m so talkative!) so it’s fun to be able to help someone by sharing my experiences with them.
|The large cat is me and the smaller cat is my mentee, obviously(source)|
Last week, I wrote that while food and exercise are obviously a major part of living my “best life,” there are a lot of other things I like to write about here, too. I write weekend recaps—when I see movies, go out to dinner, have drinks with friends—because that’s all part of me being happy and living a fulfilling life.
I think enriching the lives of others is also part of living our best lives. Over the holidays, we often take some time to volunteer or donate to a charity, trying to spread cheer. It makes us feel better and it’s one of the reasons we love the holidays – everyone seems a bit more caring of others. Why not keep up that dedication to others over the rest of the year?
Join the Voices race for brain cancer research!
There are so many great ways to volunteer out there. Run a race for a cause you care about (I like to run races that benefit cancer research and treatment). Find small projects that need assistance – I did a few small research projects for an organization over my holiday break that took no more than 5 hours total, yet were very helpful for the charity. Learn what organizations, if any, your employer works with – oftentimes they’ll be more willing to let you dedicate work time to charitable endeavors if it’s for an organization they support. Look for an organization to volunteer with in your area (NYCares collects volunteer opportunities in the NYC area).
Do you volunteer? Are there any charitable organizations or causes you feel strongly about?