Friday, December 5, 2008


During the holidays many of us start to think about giving back to the community. Many folks help serve Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to the homeless. Others will pack up food baskets for the needy. Still other may purchase gifts for giving trees. Fact is, there are needs year round and for those of us who have time, we should think of giving a few hours each month. This cuts into writing time, you say? Well, yes it does, but think about the basic premise of writing, "write what you know."

In past years, I've volunteered for a number of groups, including our women's resource center, our talented and gifted school program, Girl Scouts, and our local human dignity group. While the hours spent doing these activities took away from my writing time, I also learned a great deal about many subjects. As a result of my volunteer hours, I sold several articles.

One article, "The Art of Grantwriting," is still archived on several Internet sites. This was a direct result of training I received when I volunteered to do grantwriting for our women's center. This was one of my first writing attempts and won first place in a Byline Magazine contest before going on to be sold several times.

Training at the center also gave me the information necessary to write articles about date rape, developing listening skills, domestic violence and tolerance. Each of these topics was written for both adults and teens giving me twice the markets. Another of my early sales was an article on our local talented and gifted program. While many hours were spent working with school children, I also saw a byline and a check as a result of my volunteer time.

Now that I've retired, I see the need once again to give back to my community. I have found a cause in which I believe, and I have contacted the director. Yes, it will take a few hours a month away from my writing time, but it will pay me back in so many ways, including new material for articles. Think about volunteering today, you may find yourself with a byline and a check.

1 comment:

  1. Penny,

    I agree with you that it's important for us to give back to our communities and give of our time. It doesn't have to be a lot, but it makes a difference. Even if you don't have money to give, even a couple of hours a month volunteer work helps others. Besides, it feels good to get out of yourself and do something for someone else.

    Dianne G Sagan