Why Volunteerism is Important
Growing up, I was a proud Girl Scout. In 2012, Girl Scouting is in its 100th year. Through that time its mission remained the same, to empower girls to be good leaders, good stewards, and all-around good people. What Girl Scouting taught me was the power, and importance, of volunteerism.
Every year, I work on several pro-bono projects. These projects provide help to organizations, people, or pets who need a boost. I do it not only to provide support to those who need it but also because it’s a good thing to do.
I don’t do it for the notoriety or for a tax write-off, but because I believe that it’s important to give back. Karma doesn’t have to be a, well, you know. It can be beautiful.
Some projects I supported last year & continue to support:
Maine Greyhound Placement Service
I provide editorial volunteerism to the Maine Greyhound Placement Service through their calendar, newsletter, outreach for the group via meet and greets, and annual events. I design both the calendar and newsletter flexing the “design” portion of my business. In addition, I provide fun pet-oriented photography sessions at the group’s annual and holiday open house. A portion of the proceeds from each session at the open houses goes back to the group.
Furry Friends Food Bank:
The Furry Friends Food Bank is near and dear to my heart. Located at Eastern Area Agency on Aging (www.eaaa.org) . The food bank provides pet food and supplies to seniors and people with disabilities to enable them to keep their pets at home. Many give up part of their meal to keep their pets fed.
That’s not healthy for either party. By donating money raised through my annual Pet Portrait event at Green Acres Kennel Shop, my clients help me provide financial support. Last year, we donated over $300 to the food bank.
Champion the Cure Challenge
The Champion the Cure Challenge (www.ctcchallenge.org) is a fundraising arm of the Cancer Care Center of Maine. This center not only treats patients. It also does groundbreaking research, finding ways of diagnosing, treating, and ultimately eradicating cancer. I have several family members touched by cancer. It’s a terrible disease.
Because this organization keeps 100% of the funds in Maine, when asked to provide photographic coverage services I said “yes.” Last year, the event brought in over $225,000. That’s no small feat. It’s due largely to the volunteerism of people throughout Maine.
The L Factor’s “Man Up to Cancer Calendar”
In 2011, I was asked to be one of four photographers who tackled the L Factor’s first calendar. The calendar is sold at the L Factor Salon, 258 State Street in Brewer, Maine. It features local men who are survivors, co-survivors, or supporters of those with cancer.
This project, spearheaded by co-owner Regina Leonard. It was an honor to be part of. I can’t wait to tackle it again for the 2014 calendar. To order a calendar, you can go there or call (207) 989-5515.
Other causes I’ve supported in the past include:
- Operation Smile – Providing surgery for children with cleft lips and palates in the US and abroad.
- The Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center
- Spruce Run Women’s Shelter
- The UMaine Alumni Association
- The Bangor Humane Society
I wish I had the money and time to support all the wonderful causes out there. What have you done to make a difference in your community?