I am passionate about volunteering. I volunteer in a variety of capacities for several causes. I volunteer for many reasons; but mostly because I am called to serve. Finding a perfect match is not always easy. But when everything in the volunteer universe in aligned – it’s golden. Key elements to a successful experience include: a responsive, committed and dedicated staff; an engaged and involved Board of Directors; there is a universal relevance to the mission of the charity; the lives of those served are impacted and changed by the organization; and the volunteer is important to the agency.
I am passionate about Mika.
I am drawn to support Mika because of these three words: Justice, Mercy and Humility. Micah 6:8 Mika has an important role in my city. By equipping leaders in (low-income) neighborhoods, residents can build communities with VISION.
- Vision: where neighbors share and agree on a desired future for their community.
- Interdependent Relationships with God and Each Other
- Servant Leadership
I share this Vision for my city.
In addition to my volunteer position with Mika in fund development I signed on with the Step Up program. As an adult role model, I am able to work with children in leadership development. Spending time weekly with these young people gives me immeasurable joy! And the kids know that who they are makes a difference.
The Mika kids may be considered (by Federal guidelines) from low to very low income families, but none of them considers themselves poor. However, the major difference between these young people than those from the other side of town’s families of higher income brackets is that culturally, giving is not a way of life.
Proverbs 19:17 “Who is Kind to the Poor, Lends to the Lord.”
So the challenge becomes how do kids who do not have: helping, volunteering or good samaritan behaviors modeled become makers of change?
It’s been nine centuries since Maimonides provided the ladder of tzedekah which laid the foundation for acts of charity and almost 50 years since Maslov‘s pyramid of needs provided an order to human development. In developing a format for a youth service-ethics program I am melding the works of these two learned Jews. Designing the Hierarchy of Helping, the following premises are established: (lowest to highest priority)
HOY – Helping Our Youth
We commit to:
1. Help students by acknowledging “helping” talents.
2. Help students develop insights into their helping talents.
3. Help students understand the needs in the “world” for their helping talents.
4. Help guide and direct students towards utllizing their helping talents.
5. Students will use their helping talents to make a difference.
For all of the Mika children, the basic helping concept begins in home caring for siblings or participating in family chores without pay. Building upon that premise; it’s elementary! Kids love helping because the act of engagement raises them up. With a solid foundation the students eagerly look for more ways to help. The result is a sense accomplishment and independence.
Hierarchy of Helping
(lowest to highest priority)
1. Help at home first serving family and friends.
2. Help by serving the Lord in your place of worship.
3. Help by making your neighborhood a safe and happy place.
4. Help by showing respect for the less fortunate, other children, older adults, the sick and God’s creatures in your community.
5. Help by making a difference in the world.
I am passionate about being the change I hope to see in others.
My inspiration is Maimonides:
* Give unwillingly (gives only because he is forced to so so. This is a gift of the hand but not of the heart.)
* Give less than you should or are able, but gives cheerfully.
* Give cheerfully, and as much as you can, but only after being asked to do so.
* Give before you are asked but doing so directly to the poor, causing embarrassment.
* Give when you do not know who is receiving but the individual benefitting knows the giver’s identity.
* Give anonymously to someone in need (who does not know the giver’s identity),
* Giver and receiver are unknown to each other.
* Give so that receiver can help himself.
Making a difference: from Maimonides to Maslov to Mika.