For several weeks in the month of February I spent time after work and on the President's Day holiday reading and reviewing reports for my business fraternity, Pi Sigma Epsilon. I must admit at times when I needed to take a break from reading I found myself saying "why am I using my downtime for this?" I took a few minutes to go back through some old Facebook pictures of my time in college and in PSE. I ran across a lot of fun ones and it energized me to get back to my reading. You see when I was in college I was in a chapter that submitted lots of national awards for the national conference each year. From the end of the first semester to the end of January our lives were focused on writing reports about the year. I remember many nights saying goodbye to my dad as he left for work at 5am and I was still up writing or working on homework that had been pushed to the side till then. My friends and I spent a lot of time writing these reports, submitting them for rewards, preparing and delivering presentations on site at the national convention. It was a lot of work but we got a great reward from it. I gained experience that could be transferable to my job in the future and sometimes we won an award or two (like the above with one of my best friends Jen, the Lewis F. Gordon Top Chapter Award that our chapter won, this is just one of the several pictures we took being silly with that award, our whole chapter did :) ). Do you know who didn't gain any experience but spent a lot of time working on these awards, the volunteers. The award judges who read these reports late at night after they put their kids down to bed, or the alumni and corporate professionals who took a week off of work to attend the convention to sit in a small hotel conference room judging the presentations, or the volunteers who coordinated the program.
As I got reinvigorated about the reports I was yet to review I silently said a prayer of gratitude to the many people who helped me while I was in college and the time they took our of their day. I also fondly looked at the names of the students listed in these reports and the many others unnamed but who's time made up the reports. By the time the experience was over I felt grateful. Grateful for being able to have the resources, specifically time, to be able to give back to an organization I love. So what do you like to do to give back? Or where is somewhere that you would like to volunteer a little time to give back to?