Sweet Charity

Its been so long since I have been involved in a charity. Or fundraiser. Or even devoted my time to any cause. (Not counting stuff for the troops.) It occurred to me how much I took those chances once offered up in high school and college for granted. Since the day I was handed my diploma, out the window went all those days volunteering at the MSPCA, those afternoons at Dana Hall organizing and arranging Thanksgiving meals for needy families, those weeks spent in preparation at Kappa Alpha Theta raising money through party events and the annual Mr. Fraternity pageant.

Yeah, so maybe I did the Walk for Hunger a few times since then, or emptied some spare change in the good old fireman's boot, but why? Take a moment and make sure your heart was in the right place when you did those things. Sadly, mine was not.

While starting up this teensy little cardigan for Newborns in Need, I reflected upon this. Going to the animal shelter every week was more fun for me than a night out at the latest Belmont Hill dance. And cleaning out the coin pocket in my car for a cause made me feel better than a day of beauty at the dayspa. But to be honest, I spent that time to beef up my college applications rather than in a selfless act for homeless animals or people. And when the mission was accomplished, so was my volunteerism.

HOWEVER. Looking more closely at the things I have done, who is to say I was selfish at all? Most college-bound kids focused their time on friends, their grades, and their athletic skills rather than cleaning poop in a puppy pen. So maybe I was trying to look good for those admissions peeps at Union, Gettysburg, and Washington & Lee, but I most likely gave up better grades, athletic excellence, and greater popularity to do it this way.

Luckily, we get so many chances to redeem ourselves. And in the coming years, I can try to lead a more philanthropic life without working for my own gain. After all, that is what it's all about.