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What Can Giving Back Give You?

What Can Giving Back Give You?

Redefining how we think about giving

Giving can seem like a one way street. We let go of something that belongs to us – often my money or clothing or food – so that someone in need can have it. That’s what giving means, after all. But this can also be discouraging. What if we’re tapped out, emotionally and physically? If dealing with illness takes too much already? That’s why we like to think of giving as a two way street. We’re talking about giving that makes you feel more hopeful, more in control, more active in your life. We’re talking about giving that gives back.

From PTA duties to advocacy, from knowledge sharing to making friends, there are hundreds of ways to give back and get what you need in return. If you want to start a giving habit, think about what you love to do and use it for good.

Why we’re talking about giving

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday was invented by a community center in New York called the 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations. Since 2012, the holiday has been encouraging people to give. Though Thanksgiving is an American holiday, #GivingTuesday is celebrated all over the world.

Participating in #GivingTuesday doesn’t require anything special. The idea is simply to do something that helps another person, then use the hashtag with a picture or description to spread the word and encourage others to give back. Of course, if you don’t use social media, it’s the act of giving itself that counts! You can find organizations and ideas on the #GivingTuesday website or check out our Tweets for disability-friendly activities.

Tell us! Do you have ideas for #GivingTuesday? How has giving made a difference in your life?

Want to learn more about our contributor’s experiences with volunteering and advocacy?

The Disability Stereotype
Ashley finds pride in volunteering from home with MS organizations after being shamed for her invisible disability.


  • potter
    2 years ago

    I am on several forums where I try to help newbies with MS or clay. I donate money when I can. I haven’t volunteered outside of my home, grocery shopping wears me out so I can’t see where I could be much help elsewhere. I also pick up colds and anything that is going around easily and it take me forever to get over it. I feel like I am doing what I am able to do. Potter

  • Joelle Buck
    2 years ago

    Giving back to me is a way to distract myself from my disability alone getting out of stuff and helping others in any way I can makes me feel good and it helps me escape from my disability quote-unquote world it’s getting a lot further and far in-between when I can be of service to others as of the last three years but I absolutely get as much out of getting back as I do as receiving I find myself if I see somebody I used to say oh my goodness there shopping in their PJs Ash today I looked at them and I pray God please bless them as much as you explore and more amen I also find that I get very stubborn and accepting my limitations and I don’t like to others to see me and I turn to isolate I don’t tell people I have a disability or I have MS and I feel like I had the need to explain it all and I’m just learning to understand it now myself but I can definitely say that what it’s giving me the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and being permanently disabled at least for the past 9 years is it’s giving me a spirit of Resilency. . A crying out about a call to pay Ms to find a cure it’s part of who I am today and aren’t we all in progress?
    Thanks for sharing

  • Nancy W
    2 years ago

    Giving back is very much on my mind lately, because a few things I was involved in have recently stopped. I was volunteering at the library story hour, but now that there is public preschool, no one was coming.

    I used to stay overnight with the homeless through Family Promise, but last time, I care down with bronchitis shortly after and realized that I was not sleeping well there and it was bringing me down.

    I am a CASA volunteer, which is court appointed special advocate for foster children. Right now I am between cases.

    I am looking for new opportunities to give back. But, at the same time, not spending time volunteering has given me time for household projects. So, I am praying about it and looking for opportunities to present themselves.

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