Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Volunteering - A Path to Better Self Esteem

How can we feel better about our own life? What can we do to improve our self esteem?

In addition to the recovery work that we practice in our daily lives we have another avenue open to us for increasing our self esteem. Volunteering. When we avail ourselves of the opportunity to help others we leave our own issues and difficulties behind and focus outside ourselves for a time. We become immersed in the problems of others and in the process may gain some perspective on our own issues.

One of the most wonderful ways we can accomplish this task during the holidays is a creation of the United States Postal Service called Operation Santa Claus. The movement had its beginnings in the 1920's when postal workers took letters from the dead letter office address to Santa and chipped in some of their own funds to buy gift for needy children. Since that time the New York City postal workers at the post office located at 33rd Street and Eighth Avenue, behind Madison Square Garden, have collected the letters and set them aside for folks to read over and choose each year, beginning in December. These postal workers do this on their own time without pay each year. It is estimated that this year there may be up to 200,000 letters due to the economic down turn.

Let us each take a moment this year and choose to give a child who will receive nothing a gift. If your own economic circumstances don't permit the expense of any funds, making something creative will fill the void nicely.

I have participated in Operation Santa Claus and have found it made my holidays the most fulfilling of all. Here is a link to an article about Operation Santa Claus.

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