See a need, Fill a need…

“See a need, fill a need.” – Story headline from a recent Realtor magazine. Every year Realtor Magazine runs a special contest and story about the Realtor who has contributed the most to their community. They call their chosen Realtor the Good Neighbor of the year. This year’s winner is Jane Locke of South Carolina who saw a need for financial help for families with children with disabilities and diseases that wasn’t being filled by existing charities; so she and a group of like-minded people in her area started Carolina Children’s Charity to fill that need. Find out more about that charity at http://www.carolinachildren.org/

caringWe often have the tendency to think that we can’t make a difference through just our own small local efforts; but such is not the case. It is also not the case that every effort has to be a large one in and of itself. Lots and lots of little efforts eventually accumulate and make a difference. Even a small, seemingly insignificant effort may make the difference in someone else’s life. If they go on to also make a difference by doing something the whole thing can snowball into a huge difference.

I think a key to filling a need that you may see is to be happy within yourself that you did the deed or filled the need and not to be disappointed if no one else noticed or praised you for having done it. Sometimes you will get a “thank you” if you do something for someone else that they see; however, many times the good works that you do are not such that they would be recognized by giving moneywhomever you helped. You must also feel good about your contribution, no matter how small when compared to others; so long as your effort was sincere and honest. That is especially true if you are just doing things to raise money for a worthy cause. So what, if you managed to give or collect $20 and someone else gave $200 or even $2,000? If your $20 represented your honest effort to help and was given without expectations of any reward, it is as important as the larger amounts.

Much of the time the needs that you might see are not about money; rather they are about the need for services – drivers to deliver Meals on Wheels, for instance; or people to visit shut-ins. volunteer builderSometimes the need s are well behind the scenes and out of the spotlight, such as packing the meals that will be delivered or putting together gift boxes to be sent overseas to our troops. Sometimes it involves joining a groups to accomplish a big task, like building a house for someone in need. Sometimes the needs are very personal – providing someone to listen and talk with for a person who has gone through a loss or who may be suffering through an illness. Maybe it’s just being there in programs such as Big Brother or Big Sister to provide role models and companionship.

We actually “see” needs around us all the time; it’s just that we‘re too busy to stop and help, to fill the need; or we think we are too busy.  All too often the things that we are “busy with” are superficial or contrived and have little actual meaning or consequence. We have created the illusion of being busy out of things like checking our email or texting or playing a game on our helping elderly
phones. Our distractions and amusements have morphed into our “busy.” In the meantime, the needs are still there unfulfilled; we just don’t have the time to look for them or see them because we are “busy.” Take the time out of your busy lifestyle to look around and recognize the needs that are all around you. Fill just a few of those needs and you will feel so much better about yourself and about life. You may even find that you didn’t miss checking your phone or texting while you were actually helping get something meaningful accomplished.

So, today, resolve to See a need, Fill a need.  You likely won’t be in the headlines in tomorrow’s paper, but you will feel really great about yourself as you drift off to sleep tonight. If the need you filled happened to involve direct contact and help for another person that will make two happy people at the end of the day. Have a great and meaningful weekend.

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