Give What You Can

You don’t have to donate money or goods in order to make a difference in someone’s life. Read on to find out how good it feels to give up some of your time, and why minimalists should strive to volunteer.

I’ve read on countless blogs that one of the ways to live a happier life to carry on like your time is valuable. Your time is irreplaceable and, really, that is the reality anyway. You’ll never get back any of the time you’ve already used in your life. While that’s a largely depressing thought, the key is to look at it positively. The key is to ask yourself: “is this task a good use of this moment I can never have again?”

After last summer, I began putting myself and my values before anything and anyone else. One of the things I value is giving back. I’m not talking monetary donations and gifts. I’m talking about giving up your time and energy…community service.

Now, I know when I say “community service” that some of you are rolling your eyes, or groaning. I know volunteering isn’t always fun, but it is always rewarding. This holds especially true if you don’t have money, or items, you can readily give away.

My Favorite Cause

Leo’s story has inspired such a drive within me to give to my local SPCA chapter. He was found by a dumpster behind a pharmacy Trevor and I worked at together–the rest of the litter ran away, but Leo was too sick to run, was picked up and rushed to the emergency vet. After four days of care, he was passed around from home to home until the day I met him. My mom agreed to let him stay because he was so sick; he honestly looked as if he’d pass away at any moment.

He didn’t.

Since then, I’ve been very passionate about donating to their causes in the hopes of helping to prevent kitten litters from being dumped into trash cans (which is quite a problem in our area). Once a year I’ve been able to donate towels, food, toys, blankets, collars, food bowls and treats for dogs and cats to our local SPCA.

However, another great way to help out is to donate your time and love. Trevor and I recently went to our local shelter to love the kitties rooming there.

Some of the kitties wanted to be pet from afar, or simply played with. We took these two out, individually, to play for a while with the jingle balls they had in their cages.

This one was very shy, but loved T.

This one wanted love, but not held.

These two cats couldn’t be more different; one was thirteen, one was under a year old. They both wanted to snuggle for as long as possible. We couldn’t say no!

She was so sweet and would make the perfect couch companion.

She was so scared as her litter-mate had been adopted a few days prior to our visit. She wanted nothing but snuggles, and purred quietly the whole time.

Minimalism and Volunteering

As a minimalist, I feel volunteering can serve as a cornerstone in the minimalist lifestyle. Minimalism is about living with less, and living with less of an impact on the world around you.

Giving back is a way to directly limit how much of an impact your lifestyle has on your community. Although you can donate money, donating your time is often more profound.

Strive to Make a Difference

Whether you walk/run for a cause, help at a soup kitchen, display a banner to help deter cyber-bullying, visit a senior center, or love animals at your local shelter, you’re making a difference in someone’s life. It isn’t tangible and you can’t write it off your taxes, but it is a meaningful way of spending some of the moments you’ll never have again.

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