Giving Back as you Grow into your Profession
by Heather Garlich
I volunteered throughout grammar and high school at a home for the elderly, and my favorite activity was reading the residents their mail at their request. Some of the residents even waited to open their mail until I arrived in the late afternoon because they knew I would take my time with them - repeating the sentences from distant family members; selecting a story from their favorite cooking or travel magazine; or even chatting about the scores from the previous day's sporting events.
These moments were a chance to interject and share my own stories that related to family dynamics, interests and current events. My adopted grandparents and I ultimately connected and created a relationship that we both longed to be part of.
While the imprint of these stories and friendships still wallpaper my memories, I've found new ways to volunteer and give my time now that my schedule in a corporate setting doesn't allow for the flexibility of spending several hours each afternoon volunteering. Many have equated time to a currency, and when you give your time, you donate much more than wealth.
As public relations professional, I chose to donate my time and offer counsel for strategic planning via Volunteer Arlington. My love of storytelling now serves as an extension of their communications staff, specifically helping to shape an inaugural Day of Care event they're planning in October for young professionals. This method of volunteerism is an effective way to share one's passions and expertise with those who are challenged with access to resources.
I encourage you to give back as you grow into your profession. You might be surprised by the joy your job brings to someone else in need.
I hope you will join me for Volunteer Arlington's "Young Professionals Care" Event on October 21, 2017. For more information, click here.