Over the weekend I volunteered at the Joslin Diabetes Center Annual High Hopes Black Tie Gala. I'm not sure about the exact amount raised to find a cure that night, but it couldn't have been paltry considering during dinner someone stood up and personally donated $25,000.
For the fundraising auction I donated a wardrobe review which helped bring in another $1,300 for diabetes research. Now, that's probably just what it costs to have a scientist put on their protective gear and pick up a petri dish, but it still felt good.
My assignment was to greet and direct guests at the start of the event. The gentleman who was scheduled for the same shift and I got to talking. Turns out he's a highly sought out specialized racing cycle mechanic who has been wanting to upgrade his wardrobe to reflect his accomplishments for quite some time. He told me he was tired of wearing his albeit clean, shop logo T-shirts to social events yet when he and his girlfriend went shopping they would just get into disagreements. When he emailed me at 4am Monday morning to get started, I got just how ready he is for a change. So not only did we each get the opportunity to make a contribution and enjoy all the luxurious perks of a black tie affair, we both made a mutually beneficial connection that would never have happened in the course of our typical routines.
So go volunteer for something, with the holiday season fast approaching there is no shortage of organizations that could use the help. Plus, can you think of a better experience than getting rewarded for giving?