Thursday, February 4, 2010

Extreme...That's for Sure

Before I write this post I'm going to say this upfront. I think Extreme Home Makeover is wonderful...helping needy families who are very deserving of their new home. My heart goes out to these families and the disabilities and sadness they are dealing with everyday. So, don't read this thinking that I don't think the recipients of these homes aren't deserving...they ARE.

Let me tell you what bothered me about it. First off, for those of you reading this who don't live in my city let me give you a little background--it'll be quick. For the last week Extreme Home Makeover has been in the heart of our city building a home for a much deserved family. It's been all over the news reports, the newspaper, radio, people are Facebooking about it, etc., etc. It's been the talk of the town for the past week.

So, here it is. What's bothered me is that hundreds (maybe thousands, I don't know) came out to volunteer their time to help with this building project. Mind you, it was a challenge being that we had 8" of snow fall right in the middle of it, so good for all you Tulsans who went out to help. But....BUT....what I'm wondering is how many of these people will continue being "thoughtful and caring" by volunteering their time with other organizations in our city who could really, really use volunteers. Or we're they being thoughtful and caring by volunteering their time just to meet Ty and get their 5 seconds of air time? Hmmm, I wonder. I know there were people there that DO volunteer the rest of the year, and I hope that some of the rest of the people got a taste of what volunteering can do to your heart and lead them to find somewhere else to help out.

There are many, many places that change lives and help people every day all year. They need your help.

How about volunteering at DVIS to help that woman (or man) whose life is being crushed by domestic violence?

Or what about helping at Iron Gate and serving a meal to a homeless person who wants nothing more than a warm place to eat and a meal.

Or maybe volunteering at the Mental Health Association of Tulsa to help break the stereotype that people with mental illness are weird or help a family dealing with suicide?

And at New Hope you could mentor a child whose parent(s) are in prison.

How about helping with an organization such as the Autism Center, Little Lighthouse or other organizations that are helping families who have children facing these obstacles. These families are so busy caring for their children yet they are the ones who are volunteering their time to raise awareness and funds. Doesn't it makes sense that those who don't have a child with special needs help out so those parents can focus their time and attention on their child?

Of course there's always your church, child's school and other United Way agencies where you could give of your time. There are so many organizations and agencies in our city that are helping people and could use thoughtful and caring people.

But with these you're not going to meet a TV star or be on national television. Instead you'll change lives, make some one's day, possibly save a life.

Give it a thought. My prayer is that all those people who helped with Extreme Home Makeover found the joy of helping and volunteering and will seek out new places to to give of their time and love.

P.S. Yes--I do volunteer my time, at my daughter's school, a United Way agency, our church. I'll tell about those another time. Just didn't want you to think not practicing what I preach. Love ya! ;)


Weather Man said...

I think you should have just done the little blog using me and josie asleep on the couch.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I think that Tulsa is a very volunteering city. Still you have a point.

Baloney said...

Haha to Weather Man.
I'm glad you wrote this. Makes you get to the heart of WHY they volunteered.