Guest Blogger & Habitat Volunteer: Kira Tashjian
It's a busy world. Everywhere you look is need. Unemployment is high. Spirits are low. Time is of the essence, but there is no time. Life can be, for many of us, a constant race to do what we have to do, need to do, and want to do.
Nobody knows this better than me. I'm a writer, an entertainment editor, a photographer, and I work in film. I also run a bird store and sanctuary. And in between breaths, I try to have a social life, go grocery shopping, hike, skateboard, meditate, put out lots of crazy fires, clean my house, and occasionally, sleep.
Everything in my life, welcomed or not, has meaning for me. BUT, if I didn't take the time out to help someone in need, my plate would only be full, not fulfilling. I won't lie, I believe in altruism. That may sound corny, but I do. I believe I am my brother's keeper. I believe that the world would be heading for a train wreck, if somebody didn't jump on those tracks and try to slow that bad boy down. I believe that no one has a good enough excuse not to step away from their own personal messes and suffering, and give someone else a leg up to their bliss; even if their bliss is just meeting their basic survival needs.
Bottom line is, I simply cannot be happy without contributing what I can to the happiness of others. Habitat For Humanity has given me the platform to lighten my heart, and lighten someone else's load.
Taking an active role in your community is the simplest way to accomplish this joy for yourself, and the beauty of volunteering with Habitat For Humanity, is that nearly ANY community, locally or globally, can benefit from what this international charity provides. It's never been enough for me to donate a couple of bucks for a good cause. I'm a front-lines kind of gal, I WANT to get dirty, I NEED to feel the burn, and the solidarity that comes from working with people whose self-less commitment goes far beyond token. The staff and volunteers at Habitat For Humanity are a unique and diligent breed.
Bottom line is... there's truly no better way to flex your humanitarian muscles than at a Habitat build. I love getting out and meeting new people, learning a trade, hammering, sawing, and laughing up a storm. There is something so liberating about making a commitment to giving of yourself, mind, body and soul to someone who will benefit from your hard work. And you may never meet the family whose home you've helped build, but for me, it is the very definition of charity: to give of your own volition, without expectation, knowing that you've provided one of the most important things in anyone's life; a safe, sacred space to live out their lives with the ones they love the most.
My first Habitat build was in June 2008 with actor Jared Leto's band 30 Seconds To Mars, and most recently in the 5th annual Power Women Power Tools event. I'm super proud to see members of the entertainment community giving back in such an inspiring and hard-working way! And I also love that Habitat provides opportunities for the fans to work alongside their favorite celebrities as well!. The Habitat family recognizes everyone as a star; staff, volunteers, and celebrity builders alike! I look forward to building many more homes for deserving families, and building many more friendships along the way!
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Labels: 30 seconds to mars, Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles, in demand magazine, jared leto, kira tashjian, Power Tools