The Philanthropist’s Secret

UW Scavenger Hunt Committee

You know those people who give so much of themselves — time, money, energy, passion — to our community? The ones who are organizing, fundraising, rallying, volunteering, always doing SOMETHING to make our world a little better?

They have a secret…

They get just as much as they give.

I’ve spoken with countless philanthropists, people with generous hearts and spirits, who all agree: the rewards of volunteering are many, and often outweigh the resources given.

I came to this realization late – like many students I logged community service  hours in high school and college, but really, raking leafs and picking up trash didn’t resonate much with me. It wasn’t until I joined the Municipality of Anchorage Library Advisory Board (LAB) that I truly learned the secret to volunteering: it is one of the BEST ways to grow personally and professionally. The lessons I learned as a volunteer have benefited me time and time again at work and at play, but the single best part of volunteering is connecting with people.*

I was reminded of this when a friend signed me up to help plan a fundraising event for United Way earlier this year.** I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t finding a great group of people (pictured above minus the always awesome Aimee) who continually impressed me with their professional-yet-SUPER-fun approach to getting things done, and who aren’t waiting for their turn to shape our city: they’re shaping it NOW.

If meeting cool people who inspire you and make you laugh while doing something good for your community isn’t enough of a reason to volunteer, here’s a bit more about how giving back also means getting back:

Back to the United Way Downtown Scavenger Hunt: I’m happy to report that it will be back next year, but even bigger and better! Can’t wait!


*Hi LAB friends – I miss you!

**Back in our USKH days, we killed it on the fundraising front for our United Way workplace campaign; said killing it may or may not have been somewhat motivated by creating opportunities to wear strange costumes at work and play ping pong…

Author: Gretchen Fauske

I love Anchorage. I love what it is, what it's been, and what I dream it will be. I share my adventures with DJ (my husband), my fabulous family and friends, two frenchies named Grover and Teddy, and now, all of you. If you love Anchorage too, get in touch - guest posts are welcome!