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To Help Yourself, Help Others

Hello Gold Star Squad, and welcome to #tuneuptuesday!

There are some days when we are not in the mood to appreciate anyone or anything. Times where we are in need of a tune up, a reboot, or whatever you want to call it. Unfortunately, you may have experienced quite a few of these days in 2020.

At times like these, one of the best things we can do is the take the focus off of ourselves and help others.

This may seem counterintuitive because helping someone else always comes with a personal cost, even in the best of times. It may also be hard to find motivation to assist others when we are down in the dumps ourselves.

But studies have shown that exhibiting even a slight bit of generosity is bound to make us feel better in the end. We now know that giving to others activates an area of the brain linked with contentment and the reward cycle.

In short then, in order to help yourself, help others! You can provide assistance by taking any number of actions. Donating money is one of the more obvious choices, but you can also give of your time, services, advice, etc.

I will share just a couple of ways that I like to help others. When it comes to donating money, I really enjoy supporting entrepreneurs through Kiva. Kiva allows people to lend money to low-income entrepreneurs and students in 77 countries. Kiva's mission is "to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive."

When I make a loan through Kiva, I focus mainly on supporting female borrowers in Ecaudor whenever possible. My husband Tom and I lived in Ecuador for three months back in 2015, which is how I developed my personal connection to this country. Also, as an almost vegetarian, I lend to women who aren't raising animals for slaughter.

It feels very gratifying to know that I am helping female entrepreneurs like myself get their businesses off the ground! I appreciate all of the efforts that they are making to create a better life for themselves!

Kiva also sells beautiful products that are made by Kiva borrowers in various countries. This is a great way to support low-income artisans if you aren't interested in making a loan.

When it comes to volunteering locally, I absolutely love donating my time to the Wake County SPCA. Tom and I have been volunteering at the SPCA for years now, and we serve as "cat butlers." That title cracks me up! 😂

For our volunteer shifts, we arrive at the SPCA in the morning before the facility opens, and we clean the cat rooms so that they will be in the best shape possible when potential adopters come in to meet the kitties! This includes everything from scooping out litter boxes to mopping the floors. It's hard work, but it's definitely worth it!

Giving to the little cuties at the SPCA warms my heart every single time that we volunteer! I also love creating a welcoming atmosphere for the people who visit the SPCA during business hours.

Tom and I have had a tradition of volunteering at the SPCA every Thanksgiving morning. It is something that we had done for 4 or 5 years in a row. Every year, I make sure to get a photo of myself with a cat or kitten to commemorate the occasion.

Unfortunately, we won't be volunteering next week on Thanksgiving because of COVID, but sharing these pictures from past years helps to ease the pain of not being able to be there this year. Hopefully we will be able to return to our tradition next year. Fingers crossed! 🤞

It's your turn, dear readers! Do you agree that helping others is a good way to help yourself? What are some of your favorite causes to appreciate and support? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Please note:  Any mentions or endorsements of websites, books, etc. that I make on this site are made solely because I like them.  They aren't advertisements, and I do not receive any compensation for mentioning them.  You can assume that the only compensation that I receive is for endorsements of Zazzle or Zazzle products.  If any exceptions arise along the way, I will expressly note that I am being compensated. 



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