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Curly Nikki

Inner Pretty: Giving Back

By January 27th, 202119 Comments
Inner Pretty: Giving Back
 
by Kim Jackson of PeaceLoveandPrettyThings

Yesterday
afternoon, I had the opportunity to speak with a group of middle
schoolers at Camp Font-Tastic at Morgan State University, my alma mater.
I showed up with my social media etiquette presentation notes in hand
and a small hope in my heart that at least a couple of the campers would
be willing to answer some of my questions and give me a glimmer of
feedback. Sure, I knew I was presenting a topic of interest and
relevance to them; but also knowing that they were about the same age as
my son, and how he lapses into silences when I least expect it, I
wasn’t sure of what I would get.

I
was over-whelmed by the candor with which the group responded. Most of
the young men and women openly participated in the discussion–not only
did they answer my questions and respond to my examples, but they
presented really thoughtful questions, and even had a few funny stories
in their back pockets.

I
left that classroom grateful that I’d had the opportunity to engage and
hopeful that they’d learned something. But most importantly, I left
with a huge smile on my face. Nothing contributes to my inner pretty and
inner peace more than sharing a little bit of myself with others. And
children in particular, have such an honest way about them that’s
inspiring—they don’t pull any punches, and they don’t tip toe around
your feelings. You know if you’ve connected with them or if you haven’t.
And I had forgotten the refreshing feeling of looking into so many eyes
full of hope and hungry for information.

I
used to volunteer regularly with kids of all ages, but hadn’t done so
in a really long time. I think those campers have reinvigorated my love
of giving back in that way. When I became a parent, I zeroed in my own
kid, and those that are close to me. But there are so many others that
might benefit from a bit of inner pretty.

Do you regularly volunteer or give back in some way?

How does it make you feel?

19 Comments

  • Brooke B. says:

    Although I don't have the time to give back like I use too, I will definitely be doing so in the near future so I can teach my boys the importance of giving & helping others.

  • Krishana says:

    OMG!! I'm a recent graduate from Morgan State University. I had no idea you were an alum. And I also went to Camp Font-astic

  • Rikesha says:

    I have been volunteering for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, it was all about building a resume for college. As I got older and found out who I am as a Christian, I sought experiences that were meaningful and did them not for recognition, but because they were near and dear to my heart. I am a teacher of special needs students, so even my work allows me to give back to the school district from where I graduated. Through my union, I have started a community service branch where we participate in helping our kids and/or their parents. We volunteered at the YWCA during Christmas, sponsored a rec center clean up project and participated in the Walk for Autism. On a personal level, I volunteer through my church's Homeless Ministry, the Salvation Army, Hands on Birmingham and the local library system. I love volunteering and feel that I am truly doing God's work.

  • luvnMenaturally says:

    I was always taught to share & to give back when possible, even if only in small increments. I recently volunteered to help with a local organization in my community that helps abused women & children.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have volunteered to be a helper for the fight obesity in children. I already love children and work at my college( UNLV) preschool. I even volenteered to help paint my high school after I graduated in 2008. I enjoy voleentering and helping others because at one time in my life when I was young my family (My mother, me and my three brothers) were homeless we lived in a shelter for battered and abused women. I do not want to go into details but I always had a heart and help others in need.

    Megan Montgomery

  • Anonymous says:

    I've done soup kitchens, homeless shelters and assisting adults with job searches and resume preparation. To whom much is given, much is required is my motto.

  • ~ Mickel ~ says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Kathy says:

    For the past 5 years, I have volunteered as the Book Fair Coordinator at my children's elementary school. I do have a Co-Chair who has worked with me from the beginning and we are a great team!. The Book Fair runs for one week in the fall and in the spring. It's been quite a rewarding experience for me to be able to be active at their school. I've made new friends (other volunteer parents) and the kids always enjoy the time when they can preview and purchase new books. And, my own kids seem to enjoy having me at their school during those times. They even help out during set-up and break-down!

  • Erika B. says:

    I do as a board members on several non-profits organizations, through my sorority, and in several teen programs. Although my volunteering requires alot, I find that is centers me. I have learned so much from my board service that has helped me in my career, and my work with kids has kept me afloat when I felt like sinking.

    Giving back reminds I still have something to give, and if nothing else the kids give me a much need reality check. They remind that is still so much more to the world than the personal challenges I am facing.

  • Erika A. says:

    I don't volunteer but would love to start. I have to find a cause I'm passionate about.

  • Anonymous says:

    Being in the military I'm surrounded by opportunities to volunteer and when time permits. I’m all for it : D

    QuitaL84

  • Fatima says:

    I don't volunteer at all. After work, home, husband and kids I just don't think I have the energy. I can't even really find time for me! But I do feel bad about that so I try to compensate by donating to worthy causes as much as I can afford to.. Boys and Girls Clubs, United Way, UNCF etc..

  • FemmeFox says:

    I volunteer with the American Cancer Society through their Look Good…Feel Better program. I work with female cancer survivors and advise them on makeup and skincare post-treatment.

  • nickiesan says:

    I am an Americorps member and have been since 2009 so volunteering is my job for which I recieve a tiny stipend but I enjoy my work and I would love nothing more than to secure a career in non-profit work and make it my whole life!!!

  • MsJisola says:

    Here in NYC, there's a big volunteer organization called NY Cares. I love it! I volunteer when I want, for as long as I can commit. I've worked with children, adults, cleaned up/revitalized parks. I also do Habitat for Humanity through my job and I feel awesome and inspired every time I volunteer, especially when I know I'm giving a part of myself to someone and they feel good! Sometimes the best way to feel better about a situation is giving back, because in the end you help yourself. It's in the Bible *nods head* 🙂

  • DeAndra says:

    Unfortunately, I haven't in a long while, but really need to! Awesome story!

  • Annie L. says:

    I used to, particularly with AIDS-related organizations. I've been thinking I should renew my certification as an HIV/AIDS educator and get back involved, I miss the sense of community that volunteering brought me.

  • Anonymous says:

    What an interesting and different topic. Thank you for sharing and hopefully you've inspired a number of readers to also give back!

  • Anonymous says:

    I volunteer with the Rape Crisis Center in my city and I love what I do, and I feel good doing it!

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