I seem to have slammed into that mid-twenties slump where that sense of "I don't know what I'm doing with my life" has exploded into this unmanageable monster. Since my life is hot mess right now, I'm trying to focus on helping other people. Do any of you offer advice on your blog, volunteer, or perform random acts of kindness?

I'm donating my birthday to charity: water which is awesome, but feel inclined to do more. Any ideas?   

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I came out of social networking seclusion to bump a thread created by the most awesome blogger I know. Does that count?

You are awesome, Tim! How is life outside the blogosphere treating you? Has the stalker been decimated? Any new stories? And this totally counts as your good deed--I've miss talking to you.

After a second disappearing act (this one caused by a dead computer), I'm finally able to answer your questions.

Outside of blog life is boring...I started writing again as a result (not to mention getting back on Twitter, though not Facebook as decimation what happened)...and there definitely is a new story being worked on (I think I sent you an invite to my new blog? if not let me know)

Really there are so many people and so many organizations that do such great things. One of my favorites is Dress for Success, they collect business attire for people to help them go to interviews and provide resume and interview help for people who really need it. I believe in helping people help themselves.

 

Which brings me to the most amazing thing everm Kiva.org. These people are sustaining themselves. They are asking for you help so they can rely , in the near future , on themselves. You donate money to small businesses around the world. Not only are you helping people but you are taking people off the burden of the world, helping them not need you anymore.

 

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed
him for a lifetime.

 

That is a brilliant idea! The donation of one gently used outfit or knowledge about resume setup could give someone the extra boost of confidence they need to do well in an interview. I will definitely look into that organization!

Yes, Kiva! Love it--I've been lending monthly for about two years and it is the most rewarding thing. It's become such a habit that I almost forgot how much of an impact that can have on people's lives. Thanks so much for your thoughts! :)

In the past I have volunteered with animal shelters and OT clinics, because those are my interests.  Currently I don't volunteer at any specific organizations, but my work does a lot of community outreach and I help there. 

Ooh, I would love to work at an animal shelter! My only concern is that I would want to adopt them all--I have a huge soft spot for animals. 

I volunteer at a local St. Vincent du Paul thrift store over the summer. It always feels good to help people getting back on their feet find the things they need and sorting through the donations that come in can be pretty fun too. At first, it was more or less something to do to give back to the community but I really have fallen in love with the store, its customers and some of the people who work there (not many people volunteer to just volunteer...court order, state assistance and all that...those people usually aren't very pleasant). Overall, I think it's something everyone should do at least once.

That sounds like such a wonderful and rewarding experience! I spent 15 years in private school, so I did a lot of volunteering--I did something similar to that once and was a bit intimidated (probably because I was such a shy kid). I'll have to see if there is something like that near me where I could help out. I'm sure everyone there has an amazing story and insightful lessons to share.   

I need to do this again sometime soon (been awhile), but fairly often, I donate platelets, and it's one of my soapbox issues. Platelets only have a shelf life of five days, unlike whole blood, so donors are constantly needed. I'm AB Positive, a rare type, so I also donate plasma when I go.

And as long as you can ignore the needle in your arm (it really only hurts for a second), donating platelets is actually kind of fun, at least at the Red Cross donation center where I go. It takes about 90 minutes to two hours, so they have you propped up in a comfy chair, and you can watch a movie or TV. They give you snacks and will give you a blanket if you get cold. 

This is a different kind of volunteering than what people normally think of, but so many people have cancer or some other illness that requires platelet donations. I think it's totally worth it.

I used to do this.  Giving blood is a big thing for me too (which is why I need to stop selfishly getting tattoos).  I should try to find out if there is a place to do this in my new town.  The funny thing is, the last place I went also paid you so my mom thought I was practically living on the streets if I was desperate enough to sell my blood.  Couldn't seem to get the "I'm really doing it for charity" aspect to sink in.

You're right--this is not the type of volunteering I had in mind, but it's something simple that can have a huge impact on someone else's life. I didn't realize platelets have such a short shelf life, so I'll definitely have to contact Red Cross about that and see if I can help out. Thanks you so much for the suggestion and info, Katie!  

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