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Choosing a Charity

Passion and Purpose

Ever wonder, how can I give back? It's difficult to know which charity will represent your passions when you haven't figured out what they are. So I ask you, what is your greatest passion?

Is it art? Is it cooking? Baking? Writing stories? Working with young children? Teaching? Camping? Hiking? Fundraisers?

How to Find Purpose

If you want to find your purpose, you will find it where your greatest passion meets the world's greatest need.

Here's a simple exercise to help you find the intersection:

Find a quiet place where you can have a few moments to think. On a piece of paper, create two columns. Label the left side “passions” and the right side “needs.”

On the left-hand side, list things that make you feel good. I don't mean chocolate and ice cream, but things that give you joy: gardening, bird-watching, sewing, crafts, swimming, reading...

On the right-hand side, list needs that you see in the world. Do not, and this is important, do NOT limit your list to things you think you can affect. You really have no idea what you can affect. So, though you think you can make no difference in the violence in the world, put it on the list. Once you can't think of anymore, study the two columns, and see if you can find any connections. Surprised?

Outside the Box

Don't be afraid to think outside of the box. If you love to play rock music, and you want to help the people, you could organize a benefit rock concert. If you love to knit, and you want to help our soldiers in Afghanistan...well, you're right -- they probably don't want any knit scarves. However, you could raffle off an afghan, and use the proceeds to buy phone cards for the soldiers.

You might ask someone else, a trusted friend, to look at your lists and see if they can see any connections. A fresh eye can be helpful. They might notice that you love to play the piano and that there is not enough music education in public schools! Hmm... Could there be a connection there?

This could result in a new way to spend your Saturday afternoons, or a new way to spend your life. This could bring about small changes, big changes, or earth-shattering decisions. You might find out that you really enjoy using your God-given gifts to make the world a better place.

Where your greatest passion meets the world's greatest need -- there you will find peace, joy, and your purpose.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Kristal Johnson. All rights reserved.
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