Before I left on this journey, I knew I wanted to give back along the way where I could. After all, I am trying to find my place and purpose in this world, so what better way to do it than to offer my help wherever it may be needed. This could be done many ways, making new friends, being there for a stranger, listening to a story, offering someone a hug or volunteering for an official charity.
Right about the time I made the decision to head to London after Morocco these opportunities just started presenting themselves, like when my friend Yuliya reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in Trekking the Himalayas with a Purpose of assisting a small village that was demolished during the earthquake of April 2015. Heck yes I would! To be able to give back and trek the Himalayas, what an opportunity! You can read more about it and get involved by clicking the link above.
Meanwhile, in London, I realized I was going to be staying a while, including over Christmas, so I decided this would be a good time to start volunteering locally. It just kind of happened actually. I love the
“signs” that come up, literally and figuratively speaking. While I was waiting for the underground transportation system or “the tube” as it’s called here, I glanced around at some of the signs and came across their government website to link volunteers with organizations seeking help.
I checked the website out and WOW, it is absolutely amazing! It connects all organizations looking for volunteers to those wanting to give back. You can search by keyword, type of charity, skills you have to offer, date, etc. I had no idea how challenging it could potentially be to volunteer temporarily. Many of the organizations are looking for long term commitments and can even include an interview process. Since I’m only here a limited time, I can offer minimal commitment and at first was denied or did not receive a response from a few organizations that I was interested in. I didn’t give up! I searched specifically for Christmas since it has always been on my bucket list to volunteer to the less fortunate on Christmas Day and I knew I would be spending it alone in London. Lucky for me I was able to connect with St. Mark’s Hospital and Sant’ Egidio and this is where my volunteer adventures began! You can read more about it by clicking on any of the links above.