Pay It Forward

“Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.” – MLK Jr.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Mohammed Ali
Volunteering is gift. It can be the best things you’ll do – both for your community and you. For me, there are mental health benefits in getting involved. When I donate my time and connect with others, I am less likely to feel lonely or sad and it lowers my stress levels. It has provided me a sense of purpose.
Just becoming involved can have enormous and surprising benefits for you and your family. And remember, when you volunteer and get involved in your local hemophilia community, others don’t have to feel alone either. Volunteering helps you grow, and it enriches you. It might advance your career. It helps you learn new skills and discover your hidden talent. It helps you build friendships and a network you can rely on. Volunteering makes me smile.
In addition to getting involved in your child’s chronic illness organization, take time to find out what programs and services they have to offer.
It took a while until my husband and I decided to get involved with the local hemophilia organization. When my son, Omar, was around 3 years old we relocated from Florida to  New Jersey. There are nonprofit organizations in Florida, New Jersey and New York dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the bleeding disorders community.
I have worked very closely with all three chapters and met families who are a part of our community. I made connections and cultivated friendships. I spoke at many events, participated in the walks and education committees, and emceed many events along with my son and husband as the DJs.
Volunteering has helped me relieve some of my most painful struggles. I embraced the volunteer experience – that fuzzy feeling we had in our heart afterward.
 These foundations are excellent organizations and have helped my family tremendously with advocacy, education, seminars, emotional support, symposiums, holiday’s events and walks – I have even volunteered to co-chair walks. I helped create more awareness and raise funds so that they can continue their mission of providing programs and services to enhance the quality of life in the bleeding disorders community. My team, Team Papo, is one of the walk teams and we raise money each year. A few years ago, my niece donated some of her money that she received from her Sweet 15 and gave it to the hemophilia foundation in Florida. I cried from joy! At my 20th high school class reunion, we raised money by raffling off a handmade quilt with our school’s name and class. We also hosted a yard sale and all monies made benefited the foundation as well. Those little things count.
People volunteer for many reasons. It may be to support a cause they are passionate about or to engage in their community. We often volunteer to help groups or individuals who need it the most without expecting any reward. Most of us want to help those less fortunate than ourselves. We do not volunteer, for the most part, because it benefits us. We volunteer because it makes a difference.
Mily lives in New Jersey with her husband, Harry, and her son, Omar.
*Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.