Robert F. Kennedy said “We are only truly happy when we are helping someone else.” Those simple but poignant words are posted right at the entrance of the Dover School just across from the lost and found (two other poignant words). I can only say for me, RFK’s words ring true and selfishly, I get more out of my volunteerism than the recipients.
In the latter months of winter, we are often sun-deprived and begin lacking in Vitamin D. Our serotonin levels are down and we can feel cold, lonely, and a little trapped in the mud of melancholy. Many of us stop looking up into the encouraging eyes of others.
You can supplement your diet with Vitamin D but New Englanders know they have to manufacture their own optimism. Nothing does that more effectively than volunteering your time to help others. Today, you can volunteer at Ability Plus at Mount Snow, you can walk into Twice Blessed and help with the heavy lifting. You can walk into the local food bank and always find a family in need of something.
You can find a neighbor or friend who needs just a little encouragement. There are 10 things you can do today, locally, to help others. For us, we have a lot on our shoulders right now; in other words - life. But we give food, clothing, and time to others. As incomplete as you might feel at times, there’s always something you can do to complete another. We all have something we can give of ourselves that others earnestly need. Especially time. Earning money is not just essential for your family and mine, it helps to sustain the community. But the reason we want to sustain is because we each feel a belonging here. We care about our neighbors.
So if you’re trying but you’re not making any money, volunteering can help awaken your value. Sometimes we can get so overwhelmed by our money needs, fears or wants, that we can forget to be happy. Because happiness comes not from the money you have but from what you can give of yourself to this precious valley.