I used to say that I didn’t have the time or the money to volunteer or be a part of charitable causes. That was my excuse, and I honestly believed it until I found out it wasn’t true. Even during the twenty years I worked as a classroom teacher in the inner city of Los Angeles, while simultaneously working in real estate part-time as a broker and residential appraiser, I could have volunteered once a month. I had time each Saturday morning for a few hours and could have donated $20 every month to a non-profit for a cause I believed in.
The story I told myself for all of those years, and for the years leading up to that time since I was a young adult was a powerful one. And I have since learned that a belief is a thought you keep thinking, whether it has merit or not.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to serve others. Back in the early 1980s I lived in an apartment building in the nicest section of the San Fernando Valley area in Los Angeles I had ever been able to afford. That’s another story and belief, but I’ll save that for another time.
Anyway, there was an older couple upstairs who took care of their infant grandson quite often. One day I met them while we were all out for a walk they told me that their daughter and son-in-law were involved in fundraising and that’s why they had the baby for a couple of days each week. That night, as I was once again awakened by the baby’s cries (he had problems with his ears) I imagined his parents busy with fundraising for a worthy cause. It must have been important for them to be away from their child so much. My kids were in college and the idea of helping to raise money for charity seemed very appealing to me. But I didn’t know the first thing about getting involved in this way and as I drifted off to sleep this thought filed itself in the recesses of my mind.
Over the years I donated a few dollars here and there, always purchased several boxes of Girl Scout cookies each spring, and even went door to door around my cul-de-sac collecting food for the annual post office food drive. Again, I didn’t do more because I didn’t have the time or the money, or so I believed.
Fast forward to 2006 and I was now on the leading edge of transforming my life and reinventing myself. I had resigned from my position as a classroom teacher and given…