I learned a lot about love, compassion and helping others from watching my mother serve the poor. When I was a kid, she spent a lot of time at our church helping those in need. Often times, she would pick me up from school and I would tag along with her to the St. Vincent de Paul office. As I did my homework and played around, she would assist the needy in getting food, clothes and their utilities paid.
My mother has always exemplified patience, understanding, kindness and generosity with others and through her work. Growing up I admired it, but it would take me nearly 2 decades to truly understand it.
My mother has spent so much of her personal and professional life assisting others because it’s who she is, what she is called to do and what she loves to do. She uses her gifts everyday to serve her purpose. With her tender heart, she’s assisted so many people and unknowingly influenced the lives of those around her.
It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s when I started to open my eyes and my heart to discovering what it was that I was truly meant to do. I never imagined that the hobbies I enjoyed so much would be the driving force in fulfilling my purpose in life, because I had never looked at them as gifts that I could use to serve others. I only saw them as hobbies—things I did in my spare time to express my creativity. Even though they gave me so much joy, I kept them private for so long. It took a lot for me to realize that the gifts I’d been given weren’t meant to be secrets but instead shared with others.
Even when I felt it in my heart and my soul that I was meant to take my hobbies and do something more with them, I had to be forced out of my comfort zone to pursue my creative endeavors. Nothing gives me more joy than designing jewelry and writing. I found the courage to create my own jewelry line, share my writing with thousands of readers and use my skills to help others.
When I set out to be a jewelry designer, it didn’t take long for me to stumble upon a very young non-profit organization called the I Can Make It Foundation. Through the I Can Make It Foundation, I have the opportunity to teach patients at the local children’s hospital and their families how to make jewelry. The I Can Make It Foundation provides jewelry-making and scrapbooking classes and events to individuals who are hospitalized or situated in difficult circumstances. We create safe learning environments that promote empowerment, improve quality of life and generate positive emotional and creative energy. However, my service hasn’t stopped at volunteering my time to teach jewelry-making. Since most of my work experience comes from working for a non-profit organization, I help the founder as much as I can develop and promote the foundation.
The truth is I don’t always know what I’m doing or where I’m headed in life, but I do know that I’ve got to keep moving and I’ve got to keep using my gifts as best as I can. When I do, the right people and the right opportunities come into my life.
A few months ago, I became a columnist for Miss A, a national online magazine that focuses on charity and style. As a columnist, I write about non-profit organizations, charity events and volunteer opportunities in the Austin area. I have this wonderful opportunity to use my writing to highlight local non-profit organizations and philanthropists and inspire others to create positive change in the community. It’s my hope that through my “storytelling,” readers discover a personal connection to a particular cause, realize that they have the ability to do something good and use their gifts to change the world. I know I’ve reached a whole new level in life when I no longer see writing as a hobby but instead as something that I “need” to do.
It wasn’t that long ago when the Love Infinitely Project crossed my path. When looking on the organization’s website, I noticed we shared the same beliefs and a message that we want others to hear, “use your natural talents to give to the world.” I’m honored to demonstrate that by writing this post for the Love Infinitely organization and becoming a Global Love Leader.
When I was asked to write this post, I was asked to mention what motivates me. My motivation is rooted in my faith. When I stand before my Creator, and I’m asked about how I used the gifts I was blessed with, I want to be able to say, “I used them for something good, to serve others.”