Most people assume charities and non-profits just want their money. Some even think its a waist of time to donate money, time or energy to oversized beaureaucratic institutions that burn most of the funds raised anyway. But there does exist what I like to call a “pure non-profit” model and a prime example of this liquid organization that has zero employee’s on the payroll but is never shy of volunteers is Be The Cause. Be The Cause is a unique non-profit in the sense that it has been able to retain its integrity as it pertains to its original charter – to offer opportunities for compassionate service.
One such major opportunity rolls around once every year in the form of a Walk For Hope. This is a reflective walk that leads the participant along a park path covered with inspirational messages and famous quotes, all selected for their insight and motivation. There are several stations set-up along the beautiful path for individuals who have signed up or who are just visiting the park to stop by and sew some seeds of change or write yourself a letter that will be mailed to you later. But at the heart of the walk is the sense that the world is not such a bad place and that one individual can and does make a difference. All the money raised that day is donated to the walker’s charity of choice. Not a single penny goes to BTC and all the people setting up that day are volunteers giving of their time and capitalizing on the opportunity to serve. I was one such volunteer.
Usually, and far to frequently, it is assumed that the person giving their money, time or resources is the one blessing the cause, organization or event. But in my experience in volunteerism with BTC it is just the opposite. While there is some sort of personal satisfaction that automatically swells in the heart and mind when charity or service is conducted with pure intentions, it is far more likely that the individual serving is truly the one receiving and benefiting. I myself was one of these who gained so much more. There are two dynamics occurring, what the volunteer perceives and what everyone else perceives and BTC and the Walk For Hope provide a mirror through the opportunity of giving to see one’s self as they serve others. To see one’s self as others see them is a powerful and profound crown jewel of knowledge.
As I woke at 3AM to help with the early set-up for the WFH, I could not help but hope that somebody would appreciate the self-sacrifice of sleep I was donating even if I myself could not. But I truly discovered that the joy of service was all mine. To see such smiling faces so early in the morning was uplifting as well as inspiring. To come together with people of like minds to create a space of hope and compassionate service was overwhelming.
You see, I had be regressing in my morning rituals and habits. For I had been waking up at 6AM for yoga, meditation and prayer before going to work and was up and until the WFH was sleeping past 6AM to 7AM and starting my days off rushed and flustered rather than the peaceful and tranquil beginning I was becoming accustomed to experiencing. I had struggled with this dichotomy of sleeping in and going to bed late for a couple weeks at the expense of my integrity and well being but on the day I volunteered for the WFH, it all went away.
As painful as it was perceived to be, getting up that early actually awoke in me the confidence and renewed passion for waking up early. I knew I could do it because I just did it for the WFH! I knew 6AM was possible. And sure enough it was! I was not expecting nor was I anticipating for my life to be bettered or benefited in any way other than what I was contributing to the over all WFH but as it were I was granted a pardon and could look at myself and say, “see, you CAN do it”! I don’t know how others were specifically impacted by the WFH, I could only gauge by the happy people, smiling faces and jovial energy pulsating through the crowd that people enjoyed their four hours of community but I do know that some how, some way, the volunteer becomes the charity somewhere along the way for the universe to bless by its benevolent grace.