Giving to Receive

blog post by Mrs. Flaherty, Pre-K

A few weeks back, I helped raise money for a wonderful nonprofit organization that helps fund research for less toxic treatments and hopefully for a cure someday for pediatric cancer. I don’t have a child with cancer, but I got involved with this organization because six years ago, a good friend of mine asked me if I would help her to organize a Vermont bake sale event because her friend had lost her sweet seven year-old son, Grier, to cancer.  This organization, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, was one of the few that was really helping to make a difference in leading the charge for funding pediatric cancer research and more clinical trials. At the time, I was very busy but I carved out the time for this fundraising event and have done so every year since. Each year the sale exhausts me but it simultaneously brings me indescribable joy. The joy in connecting with people who share their stories with me and thank me for being there to raise money and awareness, the joy in collaborating with community members who bake cookies or help at the sale, and finally, the joy in knowing that I might be making a small difference in the life of a child somewhere in this world. I realize that each time that I volunteer to help in any way, be it a big event or by doing something small, I feel a sense of joy. It feels good to help others and in helping others, we help ourselves to grow closer to God and to each other as humans here on Earth. And as Saint Mother Teresa said, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” So as the holiday season approaches and the darkness of winter looms ahead, if you are looking for a way to find more joy, consider giving to others. Even a very simple kindness will warm your heart and soul.