There is a part of the movie that really got me thinking this holiday season.
Vince Vaughn's character visits one of his biological children in a nursing home. The nurse coaxes him with this advice, "just tell him whatever you are thinking." After spending the entire day with the boy he is leaving the facility and passes by the nurse again. He says to her "I didn't say one word." She replies, "you did good."
There are a lot of people out there who need our help and not just financially. They just need someone by their side. You may know a few. A neighbor, a distant relative, maybe the parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent of a friend who doesn't make it home for the holidays anymore. What would it take to ask them to join you for a cup of coffee.
Maybe it's not someone you know, maybe it's a stranger. My husband and I were in a Starbucks in the heart of the D. At the table beside us was two men. One, was clearly living on the streets. He wore a shoe on one foot and one half of a boot on the other. His companion had clean clothes and cash. They talked like they were old friends. I marveled at the mutual respect the two men shared. Both left the coffeehouse feeling great about themselves.
I am not recommending that you go to Detroit and befriend the first person you come across on a corner, but for those who want to make a difference, there are plenty of opportunities to do so.
Detroit area volunteer opportunities:
A Time to Help A Time To Help has staged more than 100 monthly projects ranging from building houses, delivering meals, beautifying city streets, running adoption fairs, repairing homeless shelters, packing food, and hosting an annual Christmas party to a shelter for battered women.
Assistance finding a place to volunteer:
Volunteer Match Find a cause that lights you up. Get in touch with a nonprofit that needs you.
Network for Good Some of the best reasons to give are the ones you may not have considered — the ones that make it worth your while to go that extra step. People who have spent time volunteering for a cause report that they get back in satisfaction and joy more than they ever expend in inconvenience or effort — what you get back is immeasurable.