The power of service

I am pleased to introduce Michelle Taylor Pratt as a guest blogger today.

Paying it forward—the power of service

by Michele Taylor Pratt, Esq.

My parents and grandparents have always used the old adage, “it is better to give than to receive.” I saw this adage in action as a child. Many of the people who crossed my path were dedicated to volunteering their time, talent and service to a young and impressionable group of kids.

My music teacher was one of these people. So was my choir instructor, my dance teacher, and my Sunday school teacher. Each of them influenced me in their own unique way. Many of these wonderful people are no longer here, but the gift they shared with me is invaluable. From the seeds they planted, the power of service has taken root in my adulthood.

I give of my service by volunteering with a Chicago local youth group, and when I wanted to expand my reach beyond “my own backyard” I was elected chairperson of the Easter Seals National Associate Board (NAB), and I am honored to be a part of an organization like Easter Seals that has helped people for nearly 100 years.

Easter Seals offers a variety of services to people with autism and other disabilities and lends support to our military service members and veterans, too. Over the past year, I have met some amazing, inspiring, brave and resilient recipients of these services and supports. They and their families have shared stories with me how Easter Seals has provided not only life-changing services, but Easter Seals gave them hope.

The staff at Easter Seals Headquarters and Easter Seals affiliates are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of so many people every day. I cannot repay all of the wonderful people who have entered my life, but I can “pay it forward” by volunteering my time to an organization that contributes so much to our diverse communities.

It does not take a lot of time to make an impact, so please consider donating your time to Easter Seals this year. Donating your time to someone at Easter Seals and seeing the fruits of your labor? Priceless!

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