“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).
Today, August 17, National Nonprofit Day will be celebrated around the world. Sherita J. Herring, a speaker, author and business strategist, founded the day in 2017 with the intent to educate, enlighten and empower people to make a difference by learning about and becoming involved with nonprofits. National Nonprofit Day gives thanks to the volunteers and workers who impact lives every day, the change-makers of the world.
National Nonprofit Day pays homage to the more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the U.S. that work to improve the world, including our local communities. With this many nonprofit organizations, there is a volunteer or charitable opportunity for just about every cause. The National Center for Charitable Statistics reports that about 25 percent of Americans aged 16 and older has taken some part in supporting a nonprofit organization, whether that be donating supplies or money, or actually volunteering in the community.
If you can’t afford to donate money, clothing, or food, perhaps you can volunteer your time. You can provide transportation to a neighbor who needs to get to a job interview or work. You can help deliver meals to those who are not able to get to the store or cook for themselves. Your skill sets may prove invaluable to others who need help.
You can also offer your emotional support to those in need. You can provide comfort to a neighbor who might be suffering in silence. Perhaps an elderly neighbor is all alone and would enjoy some company, a neighbor has a family member in crisis which is also affecting him or her, or a neighbor is suffering from addiction and needs someone to push him or her to get help.
As we celebrate National Nonprofit Day today, consider donating supplies or offering up your time or talents to help others in need. The members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society work tirelessly to help their neighbors who are in need of the basic necessities such as food, clothing, transportation, or a place to live. They help comfort those who are suffering emotionally with person to person visits in homes, hospitals and prisons. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul also works to alert political leaders to those in crisis so that laws can be created to address problems in the community. They become a voice for the voiceless.
When you volunteer with an organization such as St. Vincent de Paul, you can truly make a difference in the lives of your neighbors. Give to others and you will receive as well, with the joy of knowing that you have helped make someone’s life a little bit easier and a little bit brighter.
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Philadelphia has many ways, customized to each local community, for you to transform the lives of your neighbors as well as your own life. Like that of its founder, blessed Frédéric Ozanam, the vision of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul “is to embrace the world in a network of charity.”