Day 6 – Community Service – How do you see yourself getting involved in the community in 2014?

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Recently I was listening to an NPR program on the topic of the IUPUI Natatorium being used for the Olympic Trials, and I heard the person being interviewed state that Indiana citizens are well known for their volunteerism and that we are most loved and respected across the country for it. I felt very proud of my home state at that moment and began to wonder what opportunities I was going to be able to get involved with, considering my limited amount of time available in the country.

Getting involved with the community is one great way to build a strong network of like-minded people. When a few people begin to work for a common cause, great things are accomplished and great relationships are built. Often, when I am working with my clients to build a better network I recommend that they stop going to so many “networking” events and start getting involved in activities that they have a passion for. I encourage them to find activities where they will meet others who have a passion for the same causes they do. When we focus on Givers Gain and we give our time to support a cause, it allows everyone to win. The community and organizations win with quality volunteers, and we win by making friends and connections with people we have something in common with. It allows us to expand our network both locally and globally, and it allows us to tap into our networks to support our causes.

Since I am splitting my time between Australia and Indiana, it becomes difficult to immerse myself in long-term activities. In the past, I have supported organizations like Indiana PTA, Big Brothers Big Sister, Business Ownership Initiative, and the Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation. All of these were great opportunities to support my community — causes that I believed in, and was willing to donate time and money towards.

As I begin to settle into my new community in Perth I will begin to look for opportunities that will allow me to build relationships with others who believe in what I believe in, as well as support a worthy cause. As for Indiana, it looks like it will have to be some short-term projects or projects that will not require that I be present to support. I am a global citizen and see myself as such, so maybe it is time to look at organizations that I can support globally while I redefine the concept of “my community.”

So, in answer to the prompt of Thinkkit Day 6, I will have to say, “I don’t know yet” but I am on the path to find opportunities that I believe it.