Global Day of Service

A Treeleaf Sangha site

Author: Shokai

Winter 2014 Global Service Days are Here

Community service (volunteering) is to my way of thinking, something to be undertaken at any time; don’t just wait for Global Service Days. But, Global Service Days, as practiced at Treeleaf once every three months, is an important opportunity to re-dedicate ourselves in our practice.

You and I have what we need. There is beauty in letting it go; sharing it!!
The gift of service is boundless and inexhaustible.

There are many ways in which our members help their communities. The following is a list of what a few members have reported:

-I plan to do some charity sewing every month for the next year. There are needs in the world that I had no idea were not being met.

-I recently spent a few hours explaining the benefits and problems of social media to my hospice’s director…maybe it will help them organize their first Facebook page..

-I will once again be sharing the wonderful antics of my pet with my granny and fellow folks at her retirement facility.

-I also will be doing something at school for mentally challenged kids.

-Starting this weekend, and for 3 or 4 weekends more, I’ll be part of a team delivering toys and blankets to children’s hospitals

-My volunteering over the last couple of years has progressed from the commitment of a day four times a year to a new career in social work and environmental advocacy.

-I have become a “Chemo Angel.” I basically, have been assigned to a person who has cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. I write notes/cards of encouragement and send small gifts every week.

-I’m volunteering to assist the caretakers of the aged, infirm, ill, developmentally disabled

-I’m volunteering at the animal shelter.

-I’m going to work one full day for free for a person who just started his business

-I’m volunteering with a local Buddhist group tidy a neglected community garden

Personally, among other volunteer work, back in September, I opened my ‘vinyard’ to any one interested in picking their own. You can’t imagine the various reasons people had to take up this offer

.grapes

Some just wanted a day in the sun. Others said they welcomed the opportunity to make preserves to tide them over the winter. But, watching the young family that came to provide their children with an educational experience was priceless.

I invite you to please take a few moments to let us know what your contribution to Global Service Days will be.

The Sharing of Ideas

 

Treeleaf’s Fall 2013 Global Days of Service are upon us. This year our Sangha’s fall tradition is being celebrated from October 5th to 19th. In recognition of this period last year, Kyonin and Yugen designed this separate web page; where we can track the various activities of our membership. In keeping with this we have collected examples of what has been posted on the Discussion Board and will actively follow-up to solicit individual stories to not only inspire us to greater action in this current period but, hopefully provide material that will allow others (all of us for that matter,) to renew their commitment in future Global Days of Service.

In summarizing the planned activities reported to date, we’ve been reminded of how we all have different talents which we bring to this endeavor. Although we do not all have immediate financial resources that we can throw at human suffering, some folks remind us of ingenious ways in which we can benefit our fellow beings. Right off the top we think of physical activities that can improve what we perceive as deficiencies; such as collecting food and resources for hurricane, tsunami (and other disaster) victims or food banks and homeless shelters. Volunteering at Nursing Homes, Hospices, Day Care and Children’s Wards are suggested activities as well as exercising animals at Shelters or reading to children at Libraries. We’ve also seen plans to knit, sew or bake things to raise money or comfort children, animals and seniors. And of course, let’s not overlook the environment; projects to collect litter, clean up streams or just plain clean-up; scrubbing toilets, stalls, kennels. There are also other’s who intend to use their organizational skills to raise donations through speaking events or being actively involved in the administration of community projects.

No matter what your particular talent or skill is, we encourage you to apply it. As noted above, we will be following up to bring individual stories of service to you in this space. So, get out there and experience the joy of helping others. The closer you can get to actually one-on-one contact with ‘other beings’ the more you will realize that charity and compassion both begin at home. You’ll find that what most people need is a good listening-to.

There is a neighbor that can use your care and listening. All you need do is be yourself.