A team of people putting stacking their hands

Giving Back Starts at Home

Life is so busy! Some days I feel like I can barely catch my breath, much less find time for lunch or (gasp) a bathroom break. But I’ve found that no matter how busy I am, it’s so important to make time to give back in some capacity. Volunteering gives me a sense of fulfillment, while simultaneously supporting the needs of my community. World Humanitarian Day is coming up on August 19 – the perfect reason to find a cause you’re passionate about and do some volunteering of your own.

Your community is the best place to give back. While there is great need throughout the world for basics like clean water, shelter and waste management, there are also needs right in your own backyard. For example, there are many children and families living in poverty in the United States. For these families, school lunches provide a hot meal to children who might otherwise not have one that day; but during summer break, many children are left hungry. You might be interested in supporting neglected and mistreated animals or tutoring teens or adults to fight illiteracy. You can pretty much find a need to fill within your community anywhere you look.

Opportunities are out there – find your space. Whether you live on or off base, on domestic or foreign soil, there are many different places and ways to get involved. Search online or in local newspapers for volunteer opportunities including:

  • Local community organizations
  • Food banks
  • Homeless shelters
  • Animal shelters
  • Community sports leagues

MilitaryINSTALLATIONS can help you locate your base contact information for the Military and Family Support Center; Morale, Welfare and Recreation; your specific command; base schools; and hospitals.

Family volunteering brings you closer together. Kids who grow up with parents who volunteer are more likely to follow suit one day. It shows our children the urgency and importance of helping people in need, teaches them humility and empathy, and allows them to be part of something bigger than themselves. My dad, husband and kids volunteer together as local Little League umpires, and that experience has brought all of us closer together.

Will you join me and make a difference in your community this month?

Julie Dymon
Written By Julie Dymon
Navy spouse

Julie raised her family through PCSes, deployments, earthquakes and hurricanes during her 12 years as a Navy spouse. Give her a cookie — for real.

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