Donating Yourself

Times are tough and there’s so much need out there that it can be overwhelming. But it’s understandable when people can’t make financial donations. I for one am struggling to make ends meet. But there are so many other ways to help.

Here are some ways you can give of yourself, show the world how wonderful you are, and improve the lives of others without spending a dime, and if you need added incentive, in many cases you can write these donations off on your taxes.

  • Become a marrow donor. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 44, a simple cheek swab will get you registered, and if you become a match it could save someone’s life. Go here to order a registration kit.
  • Become a cord blood donor. Are you pregnant? Donating your baby’s cord blood after birth does not put you or your child at risk and could save someone’s life. Talk to your doctor and find out if your hospital participates in this program before your child is born. For more information, go here.
  • Donate your used clothing and furniture. It breaks my heart to see useable items on the curb on trash day when there are so many organizations who would be happy to take them off your hands. Many will even come and pick it up from you.
  • Donate your used car. There are a lot of organizations that will take your used car. Here’s a site that can connect you to various charitable organizations, but personally, I plan to donate my car to National Public Radio when the time comes.
  • Volunteer. Many organizations in your community could use your help. Here’s a website that can help you find those opportunities.
  • Give someone a micro-loan. I can’t say enough about Kiva.org. In a nutshell, loan 25 dollars, change someone’s life, get paid back, and hopefully do it again. What have you got to lose? Not one single penny, that’s what.
  • Help a neighbor. If you have a neighbor who is sick or elderly or disabled or a single parent, they could no doubt use your help. Whether it’s shoveling snow, running an errand, doing home repair or mowing the lawn, there are any number of things you could do to make their lives easier.
  • Donate blood. Another free opportunity to save a life! Imagine that. Go here to find the blood bank nearest you.
  • Freecycle. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Rather than filling the landfill with your perfectly usable but no longer wanted items, advertise them here on your local freecycle network. This is a great way to pick up things that other people are giving away as well!
  • Spread the word. Do you know of a way for people to save money or live healthier or safer lives? Don’t keep this information to yourself. Share it. Facebook it. Tweet it. Whatever it takes to share this with others. Knowledge is power.
  • Donate your hair. Planning to cut more than 10 inches of your hair off? Don’t let it go to waste! There are organizations that will make wigs for people who have cancer or alopecia. I don’t want to give any one organization special treatment, so simply google “hair donation” and choose the one you like best.
  • Listen. Sometimes all someone needs to turn their day around is someone willing to listen to them. Really hear them. That’s a skill. Please practice it.
  • Participate in Neighborhood Watch. Help keep your neighborhood safe the RIGHT way, with an organization that does not advocate vigilante behavior. Google Neighborhood Watch to learn more.
  • Be a mentor. Share your knowledge and expertise with someone who would benefit from it. Learn more about this here.
  • Recycle. Think of this as volunteering for the planet.
  • Report abuse and other crimes when you see them. If you witness domestic violence or any other crime, speak up. That’s the only way you’ll prevent its recurrence. This is a way of doing a good turn for a future victim. Simply dial 911, or if you are outside of the United States, find out your emergency number and keep it handy.
  • Be an organ donor. Sign up to become an organ donor in your state’s organ donor registry and you will not have died in vain. For more information, go here. Also, be sure to share your wishes with your loved ones so that there’s no conflict or confusion when the time comes.

There are so many ways to make a difference in this world, and you don’t have to spend any money doing so. If you can think of any other ways that I may have overlooked, please add them to the comments section. I do 13 of the things mentioned above, but doing even one will make the world a better place. Join me, won’t you?

volunteer

Remember when you were young and willing? It’s never too late.

[Image Credit: astdtn.org]

Two Short Steps Away from my Life’s Dream

Wow! The other day I wrote a blog entry asking for a reader from Greenland, as that was one country I had yet to hear from. And within 14 hours, I got one! That left me marveling at the power of the internet and this blog. I mean, that country doesn’t even have a total population of 60,000, and English isn’t their first or even their second language, but there you have it. I got a reader. Yay Greenland!

When I was bragging about that to a dear friend, she said, “Ask and ye shall receive.” And that got me thinking. For many years I have been working and studying and struggling and striving to achieve my life’s dream, and there seem to be only two small hurdles that remain in my way. So why not ask? Maybe you can help change my life for the better. Come on, now, wouldn’t that make you smile?

Now, I know you’re busy, believe me, so I’ll break this down into bite sized pieces. You can determine what you want to read based on the headings.

What I Need:

1)      A full time job in Panama City, Florida.

2)      Affordable rental housing in Panama City, Florida.

More details about these things below.

A Description of my Dream:

For the past 30 years I’ve been trying to relocate to the Appalachian Mountains. Unfortunately work up there is very scarce, so I decided to go back to school and study something that would allow me to create my own work. So recently, after selling my house and moving 3 ½ hours south where I knew absolutely no one in order to go to school, I graduated with honors with a degree in Dental Laboratory Technology and Management. I fell in love with working with my hands, creating retainers and other dental devices. For me, this would be a job that wouldn’t feel like work. I’d love every minute of it. Eventually I want to buy a house in the mountains and set up a dental lab in my garage.

But first I need some hands on experience. I applied to 198 orthodontic labs all over the United States and Canada and had no luck finding a job. Either they weren’t hiring or they could sense I would eventually move on. That’s when the power of the internet intervened once again. I met an angel named Vicky. She runs her own orthodontic laboratory in Panama City, and she’s willing to mentor me. She seems to think that with some hands on experience, I should be able to start my own business in about a year and a half or so. The fact that she’s willing to take the time to share her expertise with me is amazing. It’s a rare thing in this world to come across someone who is willing, even eager, to improve your life.

Unfortunately, I’ll still have bills to pay. So if I can only get a job, any job, in Panama City and find a place I can afford to rent, I can spend time in Vicky’s lab during my off hours, and my dream could come true. It’s so close, so freakin’ close, but I have to get there first.

My Housing Needs:

I have two little dogs, so I need a free standing place with a fenced yard for them to play in. They’re older, non-destructive dogs, and as a matter of fact I’m also older and non-destructive. I don’t throw wild parties. I don’t smoke or do drugs. All I want is a tiny little roof over my head with a washer dryer hook up. Unfortunately the most I could pay in rent is 600 dollars a month. I’ve seen lots of tiny little houses in the Cove and St. Andrews neighborhoods of Panama City. Those would be ideal locations.

My Work Needs:

I need a full time job that pays at least 10 dollars an hour. Basically any office job, security work or customer service work would do quite nicely.

I am dependable, intelligent, competent, I take my work seriously. I don’t have children or destructive habits. I learn quickly. I’m fluent in Spanish and I have an unarmed security guard license. I’m creative, innovative and analytical, and I possess excellent writing and communication skills. I’m known for completing tasks in a timely manner and within budget. I’m very well organized and I require little supervision. I’m skilled in a wide range of areas including editing, interviewing, event planning, customer service, training, field work, public speaking and record keeping. I type 60 wpm. My computer skills include Quickbooks, Microsoft Word & Word Perfect, Access & Dbase, Excel & Lotus 123, Outlook Express, Memory Stick Voice Editor, and PowerPoint.

I’ve been a bridgetender for 12 years, so I’m an expert at writing reports, communicating, ensuring the safety of vessels, vehicles and pedestrians, problem solving, and time management.

I’ve also been a freelance editor, transcriber, and writer for many years. I definitely know how to multitask.

Before that I worked as a Maintenance Management Systems Engineer for the State of Florida Department of Transportation, where I analyzed and managed data regarding production, personnel, equipment and materials, performed crew studies and conducted production meetings to enhance the efficiency of employees responsible for safely maintaining highways for the traveling public, evaluated and adjusted a 40 column, 104 row spreadsheet to ensure that the maintenance yard operated within budget, and remained within limits of contracts, equipment, and labor. I inventoried all features of the state roads in two counties by way of field work and database maintenance and supervised an Engineering Technician III and a Word Processing Systems Operator.

In a Nutshell:

Have you ever had a dream that is so close you could practically taste it? That’s where I am right now. If you’re in Panama City, or know anyone who is, please send them a link to this blog entry. Post it on your Facebook page or theirs. Publish it in Reddit. Spread the word any way you can! If you hire me or rent to me, you won’t regret it.

If you can help me, simply put your contact information in the comment section below. I promise it will be there for less than half a day, then I’ll delete it and contact you.

Thanks for listening. I’m hoping the power of the internet will smile upon me one more time. My fingers are crossed!

fingers crossed

(Photo Credit: rgbstock.com)