Memory keeping with a purpose

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The following is a guest post from Nancy Hann, founder of Traveling with Purpose

Hello there. Happy New Year! I’m so thrilled that you’ve decided to stop by Amy’s Blog Party on the first day of your new year. Let’s get off to a great start.

If you like to read Lemon and Raspberry, I’ll bet you’re also looking for ways to make a difference, whether it’s around your home or across the ocean. I love that Amy posts lots of motivational and organizational info to help us all stay on the right track.

Have you made a New Year’s resolution to make more of a difference in your world? Have you ever thought about using your talents to help others? Are you working on improving your photography? Do you love memory-keeping or being the historian for your family?

There are ways to use these passions to help others as well.

Let’s think about things close to home first:

  • Who documents the activities in your child’s classroom or sports team?
  • Does anyone take pictures of activities with your extended family, church, friends, etc.?
  • What about neighborhood parties or events?

If you love taking pictures and memory-keeping you could volunteer to be the official or unofficial historian for any of these activities. There are always people in any group who either don’t have the time, interest or skill to do it. You could think about putting together an annual digital photo book (like the ones at Blurb) for your group and offer it for sale so others could buy copies for themselves. It could even be a little bit of extra income and what a gift your work would be to others.
Scotland Stirling  107
Now what about something a little farther from home:

  • Do you admire the mission and vision of a favorite non-profit?
  • Are you able to take a few hours out of your month to lend them a hand with photography, memory-keeping or story telling?
  • Or maybe you can take a week or so out of your year to travel with them to do the same

Consider the possibility of volunteering your time to take pictures and/or do some memory-keeping. Most non-profits have either service projects and/or fund-raising events that can be documented. Imagine taking compelling photos for a soup-kitchen that feeds the hungry or an overflowing homeless shelter in the winter. Often times smaller organizations don’t have the funds to hire a professional photographer and if your skills are high quality you can provide them with photos that will help tell their story to their potential donors, newspapers, foundations, etc.

Do you enjoy writing? Then consider writing a story about an event or service project and allow them to use it in their newsletters or press releases. If you’re a blogger, share about it on your blog. One of the most important things for every non-profit is exposure and awareness. You can help with that for free!

Another option would be to offer to take a trip with an organization that provides services away from home. This could be a humanitarian organization that helps after disasters, a group that trains third world farmers to produce better crops, or works with endangered species conservation or any number volunteer organizations around the world. You’d be amazed how many organizations like this are out there.

I’ve had the privilege of traveling with a couple of different organizations in the last few years and would jump at the chance to do it again when the opportunity presents itself. It was a life-changing experience and I was able to help others as well! If you’d like to read more about one of my trips, please check out my site, Traveling with Purpose. Check out this post specifically about a trip that I was able to go on to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2010.05 Dinner with friends

I also had the chance to go to the Middle East with an organization that trains women leaders in a region that doesn’t always honor the important contribution that women make in society. Here’s a Blurb book that I put together for one of those trips just to give you an idea of what you could do.  It was eye-opening and made me so thankful for the freedoms we have here in the U.S.  I’ll be writing about one of those trips in the coming weeks.

And while we’re at it you can help me out.

If you know of any great organizations that provide either service-oriented or educational travel opportunities, or if you’ve been on a trip yourself I’d love to hear about it. I’m always on the lookout for groups and trips that I can write about.

So, consider helping someone this year with the skills that you already been blessed with. You’d be amazed how great it feels to lend a hand to someone in need.

I trust that your new year is brimming with fulfilling and adventurous days! And don’t forget to stop by and see where we’re off to next.

A little bit about Nancy: I’m the founder of Traveling with Purpose. I love blogging, photography, memory-keeping, travel, helping people and learning new things and this gives me a chance to combine all of those passions in one place. You’ll find a more detailed bio here:

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  • katie June 24, 2013 at 4:46 am edit

    i was browsing the L&R archives and came across this post… i know it’s a guest post but had to comment— I know all the people in the Bosnia photo!!! 😀 I lived for several years in the city nancy visited… such a small world!!

  • Nancy July 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm edit

    Katie, I just saw your comment! How cool that you know this family too. It has become a very small world, hasn’t it?

  • Zachary September 5, 2014 at 7:20 pm edit

    You’re so cool! I don’t think I have read through anything like
    that before. So nice to discover somebody with some unique thoughts on this issue.

    Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web
    site is something that is required on the web, someone with a little originality!


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