How volunteering makes good financial sense

Volunteering in your community not only helps your community and the people you serve, but it will also bring joy, clarity and perspective to your own life. The added perspective can help you to manage your money better.

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  • Giving away some of your time makes good financial sense. Here’s why:

    1. Could you really make buying your kids an Xbox a high priority after spending a Saturday morning coaching soccer?

    2. Would you focus as much attention on have a bigger home after spending an afternoon at the homeless shelter?

    3. How much more time would you want to spend with your kids reading (for free) after spending an hour reading with a child whose parents don’t?

    4. What luxuries would you be inspired to splurge on after volunteering at a food bank, providing food to hungry families?

    5. Would you be inspired to indulge your children with expensive toys after mentoring at risk youth?

    6. Would you feel like making a large addition to your home after volunteering with Habitat for Humanity building a 900 square foot home for a family of four?

    7. Would you be excited to spend $1,000 on a pure bread dog after volunteering at the local animal shelter?

    8. Wouldn’t you be most excited to spend time with your family after volunteering with a hospice organization and watching people die with dignity?

    9. After running a 5k to support cancer research, wouldn’t you be most interested in helping your family to live more healthy lives?

    10. Would you feel like spending lavishly on your own family’s Christmas after organizing a sub-for-Santa for a less fortunate family?

    11. Wouldn’t you just want to hug your kids and tell them you love them after spending time volunteering with children who’d been abused?

    12. Wouldn’t you want to focus on providing healthy food and healthy activities for your kids after volunteering to help families who have children sick in the hospital?

    13. Wouldn’t you be focusing on teaching your own children responsibility after speaking to kids in a juvenile detention center about career opportunities?

    14. Would volunteering to help organize a local Special Olympics event help provide perspective that would make your old minivan adequate?

    15. Would volunteering to help restore an ecologically sensitive site make you want to reduce your impact on the environment in general?

    16. Would leading a Cub Scout Den or Girl Scout Troop make you more inclined to live an exemplary life? Would such a life include conspicuous consumption?

    17. Would volunteering to help veterans who’d lost limbs in combat inspire you to spend extra money on shoes?

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  • Service is not only its own reward, filling the lives of both the giver and the receiver with meaning; it also resets our thinking and provides perspective. Keeping up with the Joneses is suddenly irrelevant when eyes are opened to real suffering. The difference you make for others may be exceeded by the difference service makes to you.

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Devin Thorpe, husband, father, author of Your Mark On The World and a popular guest speaker, is a Forbes Contributor. Building on a twenty-five year career in finance and entrepreneurship that included $500 million in completed transactions, he now champions social good full time, seeking to help others succeed in their efforts to make the world a better place.


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