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Eva Gizowska’s Things to do…recommends we “Get involved in the local community. It could be more rewarding than you think. It’s all on your doorstep, after all. Read the local paper and see what’s going on. There might be a musical or amateur dramatics clubs that you can join, or a local charity that could do with a helping hand. Or you could set a group campaigning on local environment issues”.

I have a younger sister. She is simply, amazing. Always out to “save the world” and contribute to society, she has volunteered at more places then you could count on both hands. She is an advocate for many deserving causes that are lucky to have her on their side.

I like to think I played a role in her turning out so wonderful, clearly she learned from my mistakes. I suppose that’s just wishful thinking, but regardless, I’m proud of her. Sometimes I find myself saying that and thinking how annoyingly proud of her I am.

I wouldn’t say I’m jealous, or trying to compete, but she certainly inspires me to do more. Her plate is full, not that mine isn’t, but hers is full of volunteering. So of course she’s admirable.

When my boyfriend passed away, my “normal” fell apart. Everything changed including my priorities. Giving back and giving to others became important to me.

After a ridiculous number of drug overdoses in my stepford-like neighborhood I founded a movement, Wake the Nation, to raise awareness of the Heroin epidemic sweeping the country. Since June I’ve been actively networking and building relationships with treatment facilities, community organizations, county awareness groups, educational institutions and lawmakers. It has been much like a job.

Unfortunately, doing something that should be good for the community, has been a struggle, as there is such a negative stigma with drugs, Heroin in particular, that no one wants to bring education and prevention, because they’d have to admit there is a problem.

In an attempt to get some cooperation out of some of these businesses, I’ve taken note from my sister and begun volunteering for them. Most recently, I spent a few hours of my morning entering answers to a survey questionnaire in a computer database. While that task may not convince you that helping out is fun, I honestly enjoyed myself.

The office I worked in was full of friendly people. The business, actually known for it’s sex education program, has been working up an improved drug education curriculum. So not only are they fighting for the same cause as me ( a major bonus), but the conversation around the office was rather entertaining.

Regardless of if they were going to help out my foundation, I was happy to be there helping them with theirs. The short time I spent there was rewarding and made me proud of myself. I met new people and enjoyed their company for the morning. I definitely intend to go back and further assist them.

And before leaving, they so kindly offered to return the favor and assist my foundation!! Sometimes being kind pays of, sometimes it gets paid forward, and other times the way you feel after is payment for yourself.

Can’t wait to see what my foundation can do for the community but while I work at it, I’m enjoying the small acts of kindness and reaping rewards in so many ways! Certainly a worthy way to seize the moment.

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