Giving Back

I had so many good intentions the first week of the new year. A new Photoshop banner would be designed and posted to the blog. New blog entries would be caught up on, digital cameras would be unloaded. An exercise regime would commence and I would cut back on glasses of wine at night.

So here I am with none of those acheived, but I thought I could focus on something very positive I did achieve this past year, and that was giving back. 2008 was the year I was lucky enough to do volunteer work for a local non-profit in my area, The Mission of Deeds.

My husband and I are fortunate in that we have a steady income, a roof over our heads, and we can generally enjoy life. Over the past few years, we have donated to Mission of Deeds, and mentioned to them that if they ever needed help for their website, we could be of some assistance. It was truly a lucky day when they called, and during this past year I have been able to keep their website up to date, take photos and participate in various charitable events, and we hope that we are reaching a larger audience by letting people know about the good work they do.

There was the golf tournament in June, where dozens of corporate sponsors raised over $33,000.

There was the September day that a hurricane grazed the New England coastline, and still over $9000 was raised during the first Annual Charity Walk because a dedicated base of friends and supporters refused to let a drenching rain defeat them.

Mission of Deeds 2008 Charity Walk

Mission of Deeds 2008 Charity Walk

There was the December campaign to “Buy-a-Bed”, where brand new mattresses and frames were purchased to keep families from sleeping on the floor.

It was really fun to participate in all of these events, but I think one of my favorite things over the course of the year was meeting the folks who work in the place they call headquarters. It really is a cold and dingy warehouse, but the amazing thing is you hear laughter from every corner. People fixing furniture, laundering and folding linens, polishing dishes, and unloading trucks. Answering the phones, accepting donations. Students doing community service projects. It was a hub of activity, all done with a caring spirit and for the love of helping others.

As I walked through the warehouse taking photos and meeting people, I was so touched that the volunteers were thrilled and excited to have their photos taken. Most said, “it’s really nothing I do, just small amount of time”. What they don’t realize, is they are really the face of Mission of Deeds.

Volunteers in the Linen Room

Volunteers in the Linen Room

Times are tough out there, and for over 15 years Mission of Deeds has provided single mothers and their children, the elderly, the handicapped, and the abandoned in our society with new beds, furniture and household goods so they can start new lives. Many of these people were homeless and living in shelters, and this organization helped to bring a fresh beginning to many lives.

If you have a chance, check out the website, read some of the stories, and click through some of the photos of the volunteers. And if you have an organization like this in your community, consider giving back in any way you can!

You can make a difference.