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You Gain the Most When You Give Back

JW Way Fundamental #12:  Make a Difference
“Play an active role in supporting our community and those less fortunate by contributing time, money, and expertise to enrich the lives of others and improve our community. We can and do make a difference.” 

When we wrote this fundamental, we left out an important part.  The difference we make when we volunteer our time does not only enrich the lives of others and improve our community, it enriches our own lives. We have all heard people say they rescued a dog and found they had really rescued themselves. 

Several years ago, a co-worker suggested that I consider getting involved in YWCA. Its mission is perfectly aligned with my personal mission: YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. 

I joined the Board of Directors thinking that my role was to help the organization and the community. It never even occurred to me how much it would help me.  As I stepped down as the Chair of the YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix board, I find myself a changed person. The contribution I have made to the organization is far outweighed by the lessons that I have learned about social justice. When we take time to participate in an organization or event, we create possibilities for new relationships, personal growth, and deep fulfillment at the individual level.

At a time when it is easy to focus on the divisiveness in our society, giving back is an opportunity to focus on the good. I will end with a quote from my friend, who is a singer and songwriter. “I’m not waitin’ on the world to change when I know I must be the change.” – Christy Paige

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