How to Help/Volunteering in Your Community is Rewarding and Creates Unity

I received a phone call yesterday from a wonderful person I’d met last Sunday at a Unification Ceremony at the Rainbow Lounge inquiring about how to get more involved with the community.

This isn’t a question I haven’t been asked before, you see friends, I’m often asked where I find the time to do so much for so many.

The answer is not that complicated, I make the time. I find the needs in my own community and go about doing everything I can to meet them,

My twin sister, Cindy Ann Daniel, is as committed to her community in Weatherford as I am to Fort Worth, we sweep around our own porches, so to speak.

Throughout our lives we have given and gifted so many things to so many people that it is impossible to keep up with the list.

As teenagers raising Cindy’s baby, we were working three jobs to take care of Leigh Andrea and driving our junky jalopy to the next job one hot summer day in Texas, when we spotted a woman carrying her infant. It was August and miserably hot and humid.

It’s often not necessary to communicate our thoughts to each other, I immediately pulled over, popped the trunk and we gifted this young mother a stroller to protect her child from the sun and ease her burden.

We’ve never been rich. In fact, although we’ve always been generous to friends, family and complete strangers we’ve never met before, money for us has always been hard earned in our struggle to survive. You see, we grew up working and a vacation is a family dream one day I hope to gift my family. We don’t drive lavish cars or live in homes above our means- we get by, and, in doing so hit thrift shops and recycle others unwanted items often trying to remember who we know that needs this or that.

After all, we were blessed to have a car that overheated at the same place at the same time every day-but, we had a car! The young lady we were gifting had no car AND no stroller.

While speaking with Joey yesterday, it became apparent that there are many who would love to help others but have no idea where to get started. Because of this I’m writing this blog to give others a few places to start.

While working at Yard Art in Colleyville, I met Julie. She was a struggling young mother who like many others, put her children’s needs above her own. She had no suitable clothing for a new job and no way to purchase them. I met this beautiful lady and quickly decided to load my car with clothes, shoes and accessories to give her on a fresh start at a new job. Her lovely daughter is a few years younger than our twins, so, when they outgrew a train table used a handful of times, we gifted Julie and her family. Adding clothes and other toys that brought so much joy to one family.

Cindy loves to dress up our twins. When they began school at Austin, many of the girls in their class unable to afford tutus were shocked when my sister bagged them for the entire class and others who asked.

None of these things make us remarkable or different. We spent every day doing everything we can to bring our communities and, the needs of others full circle.

Numerous times, there are children who otherwise would not have been able to attend field trips due to finances. We donated funds to cover expenses so they were not left out.

Taking board games and cards to nursing homes and visiting with those who would love a few minutes of your time would easily make someone’s day!

Joey, like me suffers a chronic stutter and is self conscious. Years of voice and speech therapy were needed for me to be able to address others without stumbling through a presentation or sales pitch.

Sunday, Joey will join us as we travel to Dallas for the Pride Fair. We will rejoice with those who have kind hearts and strong minds, who have suffered many tragedies seeking acceptance from those who do not understand them or their alternative lifestyles.

Joey will once again enjoy the personal satisfaction of being involved in his community that he basked in as a child growing up in Tennessee, where he volunteered his time with his family.

A family member asked how do parents react when their son or daughter announces they are in the LGBT community- I said simply, you love your child, you embrace your child, and you support your child, that child is a gift from God to be cherished.

If we all became kinder, gentler souls, sweeping porches throughout our “village” spreading smiles within our community, what greater gift could we give of ourselves and receive in return, than kindness and acceptance?

I believe Donna Summers was “spot on” with beautiful song Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand.

Cindy and I have always lived Disco music and this particular song touched our hearts and opened our minds.

“If you see an old friend on the street, remember his shoes can fit your feet. We can change things if we start giving, why don’t you reach out and touch somebody’s hand, make this works a better place if you can?”