Using Your “Stuff” To Help Others | Hurricane Sandy Relief

Do you feel satisfaction in using your stuff to help others?

Donations to Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort

Last week I received a call from a potential client here in Virginia.  We already had met and had a consultation and were waiting for her to heal from surgery before beginning to work together.  She is one of those super-busy moms with a schedule that is filled with To Do Lists and she has 7 people that count on her every day.  She is the queen of multi-tasking and needs some help to create organizational systems and processes.  We knew that she would be using her stuff to help others because she simply has too much “stuff”, we just had not had the opportunity to schedule a time to work together, yet and figure out a plan.

In the meantime, her immediate family was hit hard by the destruction of Hurricane Sandy and they were in need of help.  They lost most of their food (because there was no electric), a lot of their clothes, personal items, furniture…some lost everything except the foundation, where their home used to sit.

So…she made a phone call to myself and one other friend and together – in just a matter of 48 hours, we were able to fill an entire 36′ RV with supplies, clothing, blankets, food, and cooking utensils for her to take up to Long Island to her family members and their entire neighborhood.  While I was amazed at the amount of donations, there is an important lesson with this story.  They were able to use their unneeded stuff to help others.

Our responses to life situations are either “reactive” or “proactive”.  Everyone in the community went into reactive mode to help people that they didn’t even know – and would never meet.  They reacted because there were two needs…people had a need for items and they had a need to help others and were willing to use their stuff to help others in their time of need.

My point in writing about this event is two-fold:

1.  Generosity is abundant in today’s society.  To those that are truly in need…others are here to help – you just have to ask.

2.  We have Too Much Stuff!

We’ve already talked about generosity – now let’s talk about our Stuff.

As I talked to everyone who  donated, I asked just one question:  “How does this make you feel?”  They all responded with words like, “Great”, “Awesome” and  Amazing”.  What I find amazing is that they were able to quickly and appropriately make decisions about what they could give away.  So why do we  struggle when it comes to getting ourselves organized every day?  Why don’t we “see” our own need?

Take time this year to make changes that will impact your own future in 2013 and beyond.  In the past several weeks we have talked about a Home Inventory System.  This, among things such as controlling paper clutter, using a calendar system, managing your To Do List, balancing life and business…pick your topic, are tasks that we need and should manage better.   It is all an important part of managing your day – especially if you are an Entrepreneur or Small Business Owner.

Everything mentioned above requires just one thing.  Consistency, consistency, consistency!!  Find a system that works for you and then do it over and over and over again.  Don’t give up.  You can tweak and adjust but never, ever give up.  Giving up on a system is just like giving up on yourself.  Stay on track, focused and make positive changes to affect your life.