As a young professional, it is very easy to get caught up in the 9 to 5 routine. Two weeks, after starting my new job, I felt empty… what was missing in my life? During a conversation with one of my girlfriend, she mentioned, “Aren’t you always volunteering somewhere? You should really get back to that.” She was right. I’ve probably clocked in more volunteering hours during my college career than the combined student bodies at both of the universities I attended. Of course, I am exaggerating, but you get the point.
Naturally, when a friend of mine mentioned her “Beautiiful” prom drive a couple of months ago, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to do what brings me the most joy; that is: helping, networking and being a social butterfly.
By deciding to participate in the prom drive, I joined a team of professional women from various industries. They included PR consultants, fashion stylists, makeup artists, bloggers,graphic designers, and events marketing specialists, among other professions. Together, our witty personalities, go-getter attitudes, strong work ethic, and personal strengths contributed to an environment shaped by an inherent focus on empowerment (of each other and of others), and actively pursuing the completion of our goal – organizing and hosting a pop-up prom shop for girls unable to afford the luxuries that accompany prom night.
Beautiiful Team (L-R) : Jocelyn Pizarro, Nathalie Cazeau, Autumn Johnson, Amanda Clarke, Nicolette Tucker , Raven Robinson.
After four months of preparation, we were able to stage a successful prom drive on April 30, 2014, during which we displayed over 300+ dresses, donated by generous individuals who sought to invest in our mission.That night, we succeeded in helping 150 New York City area students find their dream prom outfit. The successful completion of this project not only helped forge a deeply-rooted bond among a group of aware young professionals, but it also reawakened in me the desire to help.
With that being said, you may be wondering what kind of benefits accompany volunteerism. Why should you should you volunteer? Below are four reasons why I think everyone should make an effort to H.E.L.P:
Have an impact! The thought of putting aside your wants and needs to bring joy to someone’s life or help a community in need speaks volumes. No matter the amount of time or effort you invest in helping, you are making a big difference. Find something you’re passionate about and get involved; volunteering offers a way to have a real and lasting impact.
Expand your network While organizing the Beautiiful prom drive, I have been interacting with individuals from various industries. Meeting people from all walks of life is one of the benefits you get from volunteering. You never know who you might meet and what new information you might learn that could impact your life.
Learn new skills Coordinating and planning a fundraising event can allow for the acquisition of budgeting, supervisory and training skills. The possibilities and opportunities are endless, and many of these skills are transferable.
Practice Balance Practicing balance is being reminded to be grateful for what you have. Too often we get lost in superficial things, especially when we enter the professional world. As a result, we miss out on opportunities to reach out and give back to the same communities that have shaped us.
Let me know how you are becoming more involve in your community. Be sure to check out your local non-profits organizations and find out how you can assist them.
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