Silent Auctions: A Lesson In Getting What You Want

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Have you ever experienced the sheer delight of getting something that you really want?  Something that you see and just have to have?  Doesn’t it just fill you with happiness when you finally do get it?

Yesterday, the 5K that I ran in–my third of the year–was immediately followed by a festival.  The whole event benefitted foster children in the local area and there were so many post-race activities, I found it hard to leave.  While young girls showed off their clogging skills and reptiles were exhibited to excited animal lovers, there was a kids area, complete with a rock wall and inflatable obstacle courses, and plenty for the adults, including merchandise and charity booths, food trucks, and my personal favorite, silent auctions.

I love silent auctions!

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Inspirational Princesses And Bloggers

Fifteen years ago today, my family gathered around the television for a breaking news story: Diana, Princess of Wales had been in a car accident in Paris.  I was 12 and not at all interested in the Royal Family, but we were glued to the news channel.  My mom stayed up well into the night watching the coverage and when the announcement was made that the princess had died, she took it especially hard because she was only one year older than Diana and I was one year younger than Prince Harry.

Diana, Princess of Wales
July 1, 1961 – August 31, 1997

The world mourned the death of the People’s Princess.  Thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace to pay their respects by leaving photos, bouquets, and fallen tears along the gates.  At the time, I didn’t get why everyone was so upset.  Yes, a young mother had died in a horrific way, but it’s not like any of these people actually knew her.

I understand now.

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Granting Wishes, Gaining Perspective

There is something to be gained when helping others.  You are introduced to people you might never meet and experience joy that you never knew was possible.  Despite always referring to my 20’s as the “selfish years,” I find the act of volunteering a great way to keep in touch with the human condition and remind others that there is still hope in a world where children torment their bus monitor.

When I finished grad school a few years ago, I was happy to have my life back.  No more weekends where I have to tell my friends I can’t hang out because I had to banish myself to the library.  It was time to regain my social life, rejoin the race of the non-studious, and have some fun.  And I knew just what I wanted to do: volunteer.

In high school, I was actively involved with Key Club run through the Kiwanis organization.  We did a lot of stuff in the community including library readings and delivering Thanksgiving meals to nursing homes.  It was a blast and it never really felt like I was sacrificing my time.  To find another organization to volunteer my time was not an easy task.  A lot of groups had weekly meetings that I could not attend because of work or were not accepting new volunteers.  Plus, I wasn’t even sure what type of organization I wanted to volunteer for.  There are so many causes out there (animals, diseases, poverty, violence, etc.) that I knew I had to start with who I wanted to help and go from there.

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