peopleinaction

If you have time, you serve.
If you have a vision, you serve.
If you have commitment to your vision, you serve.

In the wake of catastrophe, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, it seems to be a conditioned global response to throw some relief aid in the direction of a crisis and hope for the best. Not that generous, sincere donors are misguided, no. They are a blessing; it’s just that in order for aid money to serve its highest purpose, it has to be backed by vision and commitment. This is what you’ll find with HavServe Service Network, a dedicated group of 100% volunteers who are working with Haitians through the implementation of development projects. These critical projects are designed not only to meet urgent needs and provide basic services, but to create a self-determined and community-based national identity that will serve the people of Haiti for generations to come.

I recently went to see Lynne Twist speak at Seattle’s Town Hall and was so inspired by her message that I renewed my commitment to serve by signing up with HavServe as an online volunteer. Lynne is a 30 year activist with the Hunger Project, an organization committed to end world hunger. In her book, “The Soul of Money”, she discusses the experience of Bangladesh in it’s emergence from being the “begging bowl” nation of the world in the late 70’s to a nation that, in spite of the odds, is recovering by discovering strengths it never knew it had. By coming together and identifying a collective vision, the people have empowered each other to commit and act on that vision. Through the partnership of organizations like the Hunger Project and the creativity and intelligence of its own people, Bangladesh has been able to recast itself on the global stage as no longer a charity case, but a courageous, resilient nation with a strong vision.

There are some stubborn myths that sabotage progress in reaching critical milestones like the 8 Millennium Development Goals. Lynne Twist identifies these 3 toxic myths as: “There’s Not Enough”, “More is Better” and “That’s Just the Way it is”. They are hard to shake off as they are deeply embedded in the collective global consciousness. But all over the world, we can find examples of groups who are challenging these myths in the face of challenging times. This is an inspiration. Haitians living in Haiti, Haitians living abroad and international volunteers are working together to promote the 8 Millennium Development Goals as a vision, commitment and action plan that everyone involved can promote, implement and monitor to make a tangible difference in peoples’ lives.

As long as you have, you can serve, and when you measure ‘haves’ in terms of intangibles like time, creativity, intelligence, compassion and commitment, we all have some of that, and that’s all we need.

To get involved with HavServe today, go to www.havserve.org.