Volunteering – Working for a good cause

We all have a cause we believe it’s worth fighting for: either related to wildlife conservation, environment or human rights. Regardless of which one of the above is closest to your heart, you’ve probably found yourself, at least once, doing something to improve the situation. Personally, I was involved in all of the above, at a certain point in my life.

After working as a volunteer, on and off, for a few international organizations and NGOs, I can’t help it but to look back on all the work they do, and ask myself, how much is it actually done. How much power do they have to make a change?

Some might think things move faster if you work at an international scale. Others believe what actually helps is working locally, at a smaller scale. Because the opinions are divided, so are the type of entities which make it happen: international organizations and local NGOs.

What all of them have in common, is the way in which they get to the final goal. Paperwork first, approvals, persuading, negotiating, and in the end, actually doing something. This makes the entire process difficult, and sometimes, when they can legally proceed to improve the situation, it’s too late. If you are an NGO, or any type of organization or agency, you have to obey some rules and regulations, and only when all the conditions are met, you can achieve something. You just can’t go around it. International organizations seem to have a lot of power, but keep in mind that they have to deal with Governments and politics, which slows them down considerably, or even block them from achieving the goal. What is also common, is that not all the people working at a high level are actually interested in the cause, but they are in it for the material benefits. Sad, but a reality of the society we live in…

So, what actually works? What does the trick when is needed?

The answer is quite surprising: YOU. Private individuals achieve more than any authorized entity does and ever will. You are the supreme force. You can go out there, and make a difference. There’s nothing we can’t do, as a community, as a society. Working together is what makes it happen.

And by going out there, I don’t mean ‘Liking’ a picture on Facebook, or ‘Sharing’ it. Don’t get me wrong, this can also be effective when it comes to pet adoptions (I got a dog I’ve never met, adopted on another continent, only through sharing posts with the right people), but in most cases, raising awareness only, doesn’t do the trick. When it comes to a certain individual or situation, more is better. If it’s something you can do, just go out there and do it!

This is how your Likes from Facebook help end hunger and assist the needy

Previously working with refugees, I can tell you for sure nothing is more useless to them, than a person sitting in front of a computer, and clicking ‘Like’ on Facebook. Fleeing the country with only the clothes they are wearing, and a huge emotional luggage, they need help integrating in the new community, food, clothes, education, legal assistance.

An animal waiting in a shelter to be adopted doesn’t care either about you pitting him on a social network. All he needs is a home, food, medical care and lots of love, and these must come soon, before time runs out, and he will be euthanized.

Complaining about pollution and change in climate, won’t help either if you don’t actively get involved, to improve the situation. You can and should use only what you need, and save as much as possible on resources. And yes, it all starts with you. Complaining about other’s attitude, but you not changing yours, won’t do the trick.

During the years I’ve met people who go for what they think is right, and I was amazed by how much things chance, compared to the situation in which you have to wait for other people to make the decisions for you. These special individuals who put the cause they fight for, above themselves, are the ones who get to the goal.

Best part is that we all have this in us, we can all dedicate ourselves to helping others. All we have to do is open our eyes and hearts and get involved. Find a cause you really care about, get informed, and get busy changing things. Even if you can’t help all the animals or people in need in the world, you can completely change the world for that person or animal. And that’s what makes all the difference.

someanynoeverybody

We all have a skill which others might use, or which can benefit an animal or the environment. If what you know how to do best is plant trees, do it. If you have some clothes you can donate to someone in need, do it. If you can switch off the light or use less water, do it. If we all do a little bit, that bit becomes a lot. It might seem like nothing much, but if we all choose to don’t do it, because nobody else does it, then we’ll destroy this planet completely, one day at a time, and for now, we only have one Earth, so we can’t afford such a situation.

Remember that it all starts with you, with one person, always, before it reaches global scale! Don’t wait for others to do it, thinking somebody else will take care of this, as things might not ever get done. And maybe, that somebody, who can go out there and achieve something, is … YOU!

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13 thoughts on “Volunteering – Working for a good cause

  1. What a wonderful writing and thoughts Lucy! I agree that we have to act instead just like or share info..and even signing petitions is not enough. There are lots of possibility to start volunteer projects now. In Project Aware, an individual can start to organize a beach clean up and invites people to join – it’s simple but powerful. I hope more people get inspired 🙂 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading, Indah! I’m happy to know you enjoyed it. You are right, signing petitions isn’t enough. Sadly, especially where I live, most people care only about themselves, and don’t feel like they should give something back. Also, the environment is the last thing they have in mind, not realizing that will come back at them, sooner or later. I so this type of attitude… I also hope this post will inspire others 🙂 All the best! x

      Like

  2. Ah you are so right! None of us ever do enough. Sure we “care” but as you say, we have to get out and do something. Even a little can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Well written 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading and for your feedback. Very much appreciated! Actually I know people who say: ‘Why does it matter if only I do it?’. They have no idea it all starts with one person only. I hope more will be inspired by the post. Have a lovely day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s beautiful! If only more people would do it … In Romania we don’t have the option to sort our trash as it’s all put in the same pile, when the garbage trucks arrive, but you can take metal and paper to recycling centers around the city. Unfortunately, because it doesn’t pay that much, not many do it 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s how it should be, it should start in school. There’s not much in term of ‘community’ or ‘caring for anything and anyone except yourself’ mentality going on around here…. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Every brick of a wall is important 🙂 If everyone thinks it’s meaningless, nothing will be done and achieved. Some people don’t have a lot of time in their busy life, but volunteering doesn’t always require spending several days in a row for a cause 🙂 Even a limited amount time could make a difference 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The analogy with the brick wall is the best! 🙂 Indeed, you don’t need to invest a few days per week into volunteering but you can definitely do a little bit, when you have the time. Sometimes, by helping others or the environment, you help yourself as well. Too bad some can’t see this. Thank you so much for reading! x

      Liked by 1 person

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