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How are you helping others right now?

March 30, 2009 5:29 PM

Bad news and worsening statistics are enough to keep even the greatest girls down. Let's take a stand and focus on the silver linings and bright spots, which take place every day across America.

It's the dry cleaner offering free suit cleaning for unemployed customers interviewing for new jobs. It's the friend who prepares healthy home-cooked meals for the neighbor who has no income because of a layoff. It's the pal who babysits for the single mom who wants to attend job fairs and networking events to find work.

What are you doing? Or what is someone doing for you? You can also share what you'd wish someone would do for you to help you get through challenging times. We'll select the most unique responses for inclusion in a video diary we're preparing.

Comments (22)

What I wish someone would do for me is help me save my family home from being sold out from under me for back taxes that I have not been able to pay...it is difficult to express this situation; homeless off and on throughout my life - though you'd never guess by looking at me - I look healthy enough; I fall between the cracks of society - I am a single mother, never had the priviledge of marriage, 49 years old, last living member of my family, jobless, though I apply for jobs every single day; though I am able bodied, I can eat only because I have food stamps; my home that will be sold for back taxes in less than two weeks (Aug.4,2010) is an 1100 sq.ft.2bed, one bath bungalow on a crawl space that my parents bought new in 1951 - it is long paid off, but because no one will hire me (or marry me), someone will be allowed to purchase this home that's been the Buskuehl family home since it was built, for less than 3,000. I called 2-1-1 which is United Way and asked for help with this problem; the woman said she doesn't think any agency has funding for this, but when I loose my home to call her back - they might be able to help me with rent. what happened to the days of Joe Cocker's 'Walk a Mile in My Shoes' and Jackie deShannon's 'Put a Little Love in Your Heart', you know..."think of your fellow man, lend him a helping hand...". I have one child, a daughter, that I have never been able to adequately provide for - we have lived in poverty since she was eight; she is 21 now, putting herself through school with loans, away from home - we've done without so much, the house is the only thing left; I wish someone would help me save it - my daughter and I need it to survive.

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I was laid off with many of my co-workers in December. We've banded together to help each other out in our job searching. I've passed along leads of career fairs and companies I know are hiring to some of my other local co-workers and have tried to stay in touch with as many of them as possible. I was contacted about one position and felt that it was not the right fit for me, but I passed the lead on to 2 of my former co-workers and am pleased to report that one of them got the job! She was laid off earlier last year, but we had kept in touch through LinkedIn. It's slow going in getting responses from companies and not all are a good fit for me, but I'm happy to share the leads I do have with my former coworkers because it makes me feel good knowing that I helped them out.

Hello Tory Johnson & fellow Women For Hire members!

Being unemployed has afforded me the opportunity to devote more time to volunteering. I am currently volunteering with three different Non-Profit Organizations and I absolutely love it.

Volunteering helps me to focus on the more important things in life and is a great distraction. It helps me to remain positive because I am thinking about helping others instead of sulking or worrying about my unemployed situation. I think about them and not me. It is very rewarding and you meet a lot of great people who also love helping others.

A few weeks ago I participated in a volunteer project as a teacher's assistant for a free computer program. The company delivers Computers to low income families and they also teach the children and parent how to use the computers. This was very impressive.

My role was to keep an eye out for people who needed additional assistance. This enabled the teacher to continue with their instructions while the volunteers helped everyone to keep pace with the teacher.

Seeing the smiles on the families’ faces as they walked away with their new computer is priceless!

Marleen Graham
Customer Focused IT Professional

After retiring from law enforcement 2 months ago, we relocated to be near my husbands family. He has a brother who isn't doing well. At 62, he's had two heart attacks, major breathing issues, and after court ordered back child support is taken out of his social security disability, he isn't left with much every month to live on, so we moved him in with us. Unfortunately, the job that my husband took after we moved here ended in a layoff just two days ago without warning and we have no savings. But we're keeping our heads high in hopes that one or both of us will land a new job soon. Just happy that we can help his brother in some small way.

I went through not one, but two corporate layoffs in 2008 (talk about a double whammy!) but my life is so busy that if I didn't need to earn a living, I could easily fill my days with volunteer activities. The benefits of volunteering are numerous. It helps you realize that no matter how challenging your life is, there are many who are struggling more. It does wonders for your self-esteem and productivity, connects you to wonderful, caring people, and allows you to make an important contribution to society. I build homes for Habitat for Humanity in Newark and this year offered my events planning expertise to help produce their annual fundraising Gala. I also work with the Food Bank of New Jersey in the childrens' clothing section as well as the Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter. With my remaining free time I've been spearheading an effort to reconnect with my classmates from our University's theatre department who are now all over the country. My friend created an area on Facebook for everyone to gather and it's been a real joy seeing everyone bond again. I also joined the organization "Adopt a Soldier" when I learned that 25% of the soldiers in Iraq do not receive mail, which is a shame. Our soldiers deserve more. Trying to be proactive during this "in between time" I'm forming a service to help individuals organize their homes or offices, a skill I put to good use in prior down times. Needless to say, life is good! Debra Olchick

I have been unemployed for about 2 years. I have been going around in circles trying to find my niche. I was employed for 28 years in telecommunications customer service behind a desk. Ten of those years were as a project manager. When I left the company I started fulltime on planning and designing parties for people and organizations. My passion is people and making them happy. Since I have been out of work I have been volunteering my customer service skills and party planning skills. I am a volunteer coordinator on the election campaign for a city council person in san antonio texas. I give up every saturday along with my girls and walk for 4 hours going door to door informing people about the candidate and the vision for the community. I solicit for volunteers , send out thank you notes, baby sit and provide the setups for teas. This is very fullfiling because it gives me the opportunity to be upclose and personal with the people in the community. The 4 hours go by very fast and the people receive me so well, that it gives me the determination to go out the following week. I am also preparing for a Easter celebration at my home for the children at church. While I am looking for a job I find the need to stay busy and a overwhelming need to help others. I am very thankful for my blessing of being able to stay above water while looking for a job. I have found that I have been my happiest when I am helping others to succeed. I know that I need a job desperately, to continue to make ends meet. But for now I consider this time a blessing.

I am providing free wardrobe coaching to any person in my area who has been laid off or is returning from active military service and needs to find a job. I've had the privilege of meeting and working with some amazing people. Giving truly is receiving!

Greetings Women for Hire!

I volunteer as the Director of Policy Initiatives at the Younger Women's Task Force of New Jersey (YWTF-NJ). We are a statewide chapter of the National Younger Women's Task Force, and we are currently in the process of compiling lists of resources for young women in the Garden State and surrounding areas to find employment and deal with unemployment. So far, we have found some great resources through Women for Hire, and we will be disseminating the YWTF-NJ Employment Resource Guide to our members and the community in May. If you have any more suggestions or would like to contact us, please email me!


I recently lost my job as a graphic designer. Aside from the usual mentoring/networking help that so many have extended to me, a client for whom I have done pro-bono freelance work for years donated design software so I'm able to work from home while I job search. I'm paying it forward by designing a brand identity package for a friend who lost her job and decided to start her own company.

Our church is having a food drive for a food pantry for Easter---I will go to Sam's club and get very large packages of whay was requested.
People did a lot of charity work in the past and I think reminding people to do Charitable things is a Good idea. Also RECYCLE ,Reduce consumption and carbon footprint.Go through your clothes,furniture and old tv's and donate to a church or women's shelter.You can even donate cars,boats and older rv's. DO not let stuff just sit around someone can use it. We have a thrift store with so many organs we need to give those organs to churchs or children's schools that need them. Also anyone who can teach some life skills like cooking,canning,and sewing look for a place to do that.

I am helping by giving Feng Shui advice on how to empower and embrace the power to change your energy in all areas of your life ... but mostly in wealth & career to help people jump start their energy to be their very best selves when either enhancing the job that they have or the interview they trying to get - encouraging the "Law of Attraction" principle - Our thoughts become Things!
Geraldine Anne Gately

I am volunteering at a hospital, offering Reiki treatments to patients (I am a licensed massage therapist and Reiki practitioner). It teaches me to have gratitude. I became unemployed due to an injury myself.

It is so rewarding to help others heal. I also feel that this experience may open up to other opportunities in the future. My focus now is on pre and post operative healing.

In these trying times, there seems to be more death than money problems. In the passed two weeks there have been 6 to 10 deaths within the community and some were unexpected. I am lending my voice to them by speaking with them to get through the most difficult times in their lives. When you think about it, when that happens, nothing else matters. . .your job, money and your home. For those who are starting out in the field of writing, I'm giving as much information as I possibly can when needed. What I would like for others to do for me is to help me find more publicity so that I can continue my quest in helping others who go through some type of tragedy.

I've set up a blog to post every Atlanta Job Lead I receive. Every three weeks, I throw a FREE networking happy hour so that people have a chance to network and make new contacts.

I am not the hero in anyone's life, and, as much as I wish I did, I have no great feats to tell you about. As a college student preparing to enter the work force in a weak economy, I'm doing what I can do: I'm praying. I'm thanking God for blessing my family, who has always had enough. I'm thanking Him for giving my father the courage to start his own business a few years ago which, I realize now, was just in time; my family is blessed with the knowledge that he does not have to worry about his company closing or being laid off. And most of all, I am thankful to God for giving me an unstoppable passion to succeed in my own life, and a will to keep pressing on until I reach this success. For all others who are not so lucky, I will add to my prayers.

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