All my life, as far back as I can remember, I have been helping others and making new friends through various volunteering avenues. My earliest memories are with my father and the Braintree Rotary Club; he joined a month before I was born. We painted a house, raked lawns, served meals at the Council on Aging, and many more that escape me at the moment. In high school, my father approached me about starting an Interact Club, which is the high school version of the Rotary Club. Not only did we send books to Belize, create spirit banners, volunteer at the Braintree Community Food Pantry and have a Food Pantry team building project, but I also made some lifelong friends whom I meet in the Interact Club.
In college, I was involved in so many different organizations that I learned valuable lifelong lessons and tools. I co-chaired and served on committees for various campus-wide events, which helped foster not only my leadership and teamwork skills, but also my desire to create, run and host events. After college I became an Event Organizer for 8minuteDating.com and then the South Shore Event Coordinator for the FunFunFun.org Singles Club which helped keep those valuable skills active. I also was able to help bring singles together to meet and get to know each other. I made some great friends from those days; I am still friends with several people whom I met in those various roles. In addition, I found meetup.com (which I blogged about in May), where I am the Group Organizer for 3 meetup groups, a Co-Organizer for one group and an Assistant Organizer or Event Organizer for several other groups. While I enjoy creating, running and hosting events, I also enjoy being a participant and have taken a break from most of my leadership roles for the rest of the summer to focus on other areas of my life.
After college I went back to doing what I love: volunteering in my town. I continued to volunteer with the Rotary Club and went back to volunteering at the Braintree Community Food Pantry. I have since moved onto Sustainable Braintree and then the Braintree Community Youth Center as well as South Shore Habitat for Humanity. What drew me to these organizations? They are all about helping others, both in our local community as well as our regional community. I know I cannot save the world so I am saving a small piece of the world. Food, clothing and shelter are the basic necessities we need in life, right? The Braintree Community Food Pantry provides food for families, the Braintree Community Youth Center provides shelter for teens (to keep them off the streets on the weekends), South Shore Habitat for Humanity provides shelter and community for families, and Sustainable Braintree is providing a cleaner and greener environment in which to live, eat and be clothed. How did I do? OK, so I didn’t exactly hit on a clothing cause, however, with my locally broadcast tv show, Braintree Cares with Angela, I do interview local non-profits, one of which is the Kids Clothes Closet, which provides clothing to kids, teens and young adults. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture.
Where does the title of this blog come from? Funny you should ask. It actually was born out of my First Communion Banner. My dad and I came up with it. For me, love is helping others. I mean it when I ask “how can I help?” I want to help. At times, I need to help. Sometimes I help others so much that I forget to help myself. However, I enjoy helping others so much that it is worth it to me.
So what have I learned from this? I was born to help others and it shows! In all seriousness, I have learned lots, met many, and helped more than I can count. I enjoy helping others and I meet great people along the way when doing so. As they say, the more the merrier. If you want to learn about local volunteer opportunities or join me in some of the fun please feel free to contact me. Volunteering and helping others is a wonderful way to meet new people, make new friends, learn new skills, and feel better about yourself and life in general.
Non-Profit Organizations Referenced:
*Braintree Cares with Angela: www.facebook.com/braintreecares
*Braintree Community Food Pantry: www.braintreefoodpantry.org
*Braintree Community Youth Center: www.braintreeyouthcenter.org
*Braintree Interact Club: Based at Braintree High School. School Advisor: Ms. J. Malvey (Can contact through the Braintree Rotary Club as well.)
*Braintree Rotary Club: www.braintreerotaryclub.org
*Kids Clothes Closet: Located @ Emmanuel Episcopal Parish @ 519 Washington Street, Braintree, MA, Phone #781-843-0170 or 781-848-7624
*South Shore Habitat for Humanity: www.sshabitat.org
*Sustainable Braintree: www.sustainablebraintree.org