I am excited to write a guest blog post for Social DoGooder. Social DoGooder is a non-profit organization based out of Tucson, Arizona, which hosts that promotes events, volunteering, local art, community supporting and causes in fun and fresh ways. You can check out the guest blog post here and all those who believe in paying it forward by doing good. You can find Social Dogooder on Instagram here. Below is the full blog post for Sweetsnsnarks. Let’s continue to pay it forward by doing good.
Let’s get to it + talk about doing good! In contemplating what it means to me to do good, I came across this quote + had to share:
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but reveal to them their own.” – Disraeli
Isn’t it perfect?! Imagine doing good for someone by bringing out their best. What does that take? It takes heart. Heart provides the motivation, whether finding time in your schedule to visit with someone who is unable to venture out on their own or using that time to volunteer at an event for the greater community. Doing good for others has a return tenfold + a much longer shelf life. It isn’t often someone feels worse for the wear by helping another.
Inspiration To Pay It Forward + Do Good.Where did my inspiration to pay it forward and do good come from? That’s easy: my parents and grandparents. They instilled a sense of responsibility in doing good for the elderly whether a relative, friend or neighbor. If someone needed a hand, a lift, or companionship – they offered. If there was a lonely widow/widower neighbor, my parents often befriended them + soon they became regulars for Sunday cookouts + family gatherings. They also “did good” by checking in on them, bringing them a freshly baked treat or something fresh from the garden became a habit.
What had the most profound impact, however, was taking the time to sit down and listen to them. That’s it! Imagine not having the means or ability to get around anymore, not being able to do things you once enjoyed due to failing vision or hearing, and/or suffering the loss of many friends and family whom you were once close. Looking at it in that regard puts things in perspective and fast!
I also saw the impact doing good could have from the grocery store my grandparents owned and operated for many years. It was a family business from its inception and that is what many of the locals came to know and love about shopping at their store, along with their delicious seasonal produce. It was a recognizable part of the community for 50 years and part of what made it memorable, beyond the goods sold, were the values of doing good for others.
Whether it was something as simple as engaging their customers in conversation, taking the groceries out to their car for them, or reducing the price of produce for some families who otherwise could not afford it, they did so. With an elementary and junior high school a block away, it was a safe place that kids could walk to, after school with friends, + buy candy as kids will do. The store also supported the community by maintaining the property where it was located and drew patrons from surrounding areas to spend money in other parts of the community as well.
Universal Lessons Learned. The elderly that I have gotten to know and help proved comical, sweet, and sassy with a wealth of knowledge and history to tell. I began to see the girl or boy they once were, as well as the teen, the 20 something, the 30 something, etc. beyond the thinning, wrinkled skin that now enveloped them.
My relationships with the elderly have taught me we all have something to give. I often noticed in spending time with the elderly, much as with youths or anyone else one spends time engaging, the conversations and interest in their lives brought a sparkle to their eyes, laughter often ensued and all the burdens that once weighed on them, vanished from sight.
Taking the importance of revealing to others their riches by paying it forward by doing good, I found it rewarding to volunteer for events at Charles H. MacNider Art Museum in my hometown. I especially found it rewarding when my nephew was in some way involved in classes or an activity sponsored by the museum. Spending time with him has always been important to me and having an interest in art in common, made it paying it forward by doing good even more special. Seeing the anticipation in his eyes, as well as the other kids in attendance, who had come to explore events as the spring art fest, Christmas open house and classes made doing good an honor and something I will long remember.
Doing Good Tucson Style. Even though I am a small town girl at heart, I always dreamed of adventure. Fast forward to my life in Tucson. My husband and I have frequented the farmer’s market at St. Phillip’s Plaza. We enjoy the beautiful setting with all the whitewashed buildings and its merchants as well as the jubilant vibes of people from the area getting together to enjoy the produce and specialty wares of the vendors. Musicians perform in a different location, keeping the beat of the market fluid. Dogs, as well as people, are more than welcome, encouraging more attendees, and a sense of community and belonging is nurtured. Although I am 1,000 miles from my small hometown, gatherings such as this, as well as the Greek Festival, and 2nd Saturdays brings the collective spirit of home to me.
We have also visited the Tucson Museum of Art, Pima County Air + Space Museum and DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. At each museum, it was insightful to speak to the volunteers who brought not only their knowledge of the exhibits but also their enthusiasm for the history of Tucson and its residents. I was especially touched by the veterans who volunteered at the Pima County Air and Space Museum who had stories far beyond the planes housed in the hangers.
On a more personal level, I have met local creative entrepreneurs who call Tucson their home. I found they were united in focusing on the community over competition for the better good. I felt as if my own riches were revealed by getting to know their passions and interests and hopefully vice versa. This creative community works together to bring light, laughter and to do good by helping one another. They inspire talent in others which facilitate a greater sense of self. In turn, this spreads to the greater good of the community by raising awareness of need, promote the growth of other creative entrepreneurs, with reach to causes/organizations and facilitating others to aspire to their dreams. The creative entrepreneur sector in Tucson is here to stay and so is doing good.
To find out more about Sweetsnsnarks: Check out the Instagram page: @sweetsnsnarks