Volunteering

 

Children crossing street with crossing guard
Consider Volunteering

By Jerry Lambert

Unfortunately, now that you have a lot of time on your hands, you will need to keep busy.  This is not just a theory.  Being active and productive will help you to stay positive, even though you may be a new member of The Brown Parachute Club.

After I was let go from my job, I had the same amount of anger and bitterness that any normal person would have.  I decided to try a new path.  I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and I thought it would be a good time to explore that option.  I came up with an idea I thought was going to be a sure thing.  However, it appeared that the timing wasn’t right.  I won’t go into any detail about what it was, just in case I decide to make another go of it.

Anyhow, while attending various career workshops, I kept coming across the word “Service” over and over again.  I didn’t quite understand why.  However, one of my primary goals in trying to start my own business was to hire Veterans.  This would hopefully help my new company grow and also provide career opportunities for our Heroes.  Unfortunately, the “Hiring Veterans” plan didn’t work out.  However, I kept coming back to the word “Service” and I kept on looking for a way to serve our Veterans.

Since I was already driving for Uber and Lyft, it seemed like providing “Free Rides” to Veterans was a natural way to provide “Service”.  However, this proved to be far more difficult than I would have imagined.  Eventually, I got through to the person who is in charge of the Volunteer Transportation Network for the Detroit VA.  After a lengthy paperwork session and physical (hey, it’s the government, what are you gonna do?), I have become a driver for that program and I now drive a VA Shuttle once a week.  My quest to provide “Service” has finally been realized.  If you want to learn more about driving for the VA in your area, please click here.  To drive for the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), please click on this link.  Thanking you in advance from the VA & DAV.

In addition to driving for the VA, I also donate blood every 2 months.  This may not seem like much, but the Red Cross is always in need of blood donations.  While I was working a 9-to-5 job, I had tried to get into the habit of donating, but finding the time was always difficult.  Not a problem anymore!  Plus, as I have discovered, giving blood is like an “Oil Change” for your body.  As your body works to replace the donated blood, it creates all sorts of health benefits.  Dropping the risk of heart disease, reducing the amount of iron in your blood, as well as minimizing the risk of some cancers.  Click here to learn more about the health benefits of blood donation.  Follow this link to learn more about how to donate blood in your area.

In addition to looking for work, and hopefully generating some income with the Side Hustle jobs I will be detailing in this blog, please consider adding Volunteering to your “to do list”.  Besides the VA and Red Cross, there are many organizations that need help.  Your local church, school, library, hospital, or animal shelter are good places to start!

I firmly believe that the idea for this website came from applying to drive for the VA.  After I had applied to become a VA Driver, I was talking with one of my Uber passengers one day and I said, “They always tell you how to prepare for Retirement by putting aside enough money in a qualified plan, but they never tell you what to do if you don’t make it to the Retirement Finish Line!”  Boom!  The idea for this blog was born!

Hopefully, this article will inspire you to get out there and volunteer.  If you are already doing volunteer work, excellent!  If not, please consider volunteering to build up some credits in your “Karma Bank”.  There are many organizations out there that are always looking for additional help.  Below, I have listed some links to help you to find an organization that needs your support.

Until next time, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!

 

VA: http://www.volunteer.va.gov/VolTransNetwork.asp

DAV: http://www.dav.org/help-dav/volunteer/drive-a-van

Red Cross: http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood

School: http://peopleof.oureverydaylife.com/volunteer-public-school-5807.html

Hospital: http://www.ehow.com/how_2052539_volunteer-local-hospital.html

Animals: https://www.petfinder.com/animal-shelters-and-rescues/volunteering-with-shelters-and-rescues/volunteering-local-shelter/

WikiHow: http://www.wikihow.com/Volunteer

Volunteer Match: http://www.volunteermatch.org

 

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