Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Desiree Adaway, Global Service and Leadership: How I Have Fun, Do Good

The sixth guest blogger in my Have Fun, Do Good series is Desiree Adaway. 

Desiree is a consultant, strategist, coach, storyteller and explorer.  She uses her superpowers-her voice, sense of adventure and belief in the transformative power of community-to help organizations design programs that create unrestricted revenue, volunteers and advocates.

You can find out more about her at www.desireeadaway.com, or follow her on Twitter at @desireeadaway.

Desiree Adaway, Global Service and Leadership: How I Have Fun, Do Good

How do I have fun and do “good”?

I volunteer!

Most days I talk to organizations about volunteer management and the creation of volunteer programs. It’s what I love.

Despite having this be my business, it is still my passion. Every year I commit to leading a global volunteer trip. It keeps me in touch with why I do this work. It’s a way for me to walk my walk and put my faith into action. It’s a great combination of all the things I love and adore—good food, good people-community-culture-travel – and fun!

During the day we move bricks, dig ditches, sift sand and mix mortar. Extremely. Hard. Work.

Yet, these trips are not only about the work. Some of my greatest memories are off the worksite. I have danced with an entire village in Ghana. I have watched Buddhist monks pray at Ta Prohm in Cambodia. I have watched the sun set as I sailed the Nile on a felucca.
Ta Prohm Temple, Angkor, Cambodia

Seriously awesome, right? Yet it goes deeper than an exotic location.

Service for me is HOLY. Unselfish compassion and love for another human being is beautiful, and it’s my religion. My personal problems, pain, issues and petty worries are swept away as virtual strangers come together to build community. There is joy on the work site and prayers of love lifted as houses are created. I see life and humanity at its best. Strangers laugh, and talk, connect and encourage.

Community is powerful.

I am always proud of what we achieve, proud to be a part of something bigger than my everyday existence. The communities are my church and every day is Sunday.

Dancing in Ghana
Just writing this post has broken my heart open and I feel the familiar ache. It’s time to plan the next trip.

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  1. More power to you Desiree! It's truly inspiring to see how people around the world are working towards making a difference. :)

  2. Awesome! Inspiring. Reminds me what life is for! Exotic or mundane, love, connection, community, getting beyond my petty little me and being a force of constructive, creative love in motion in the my local and global family, is Queen. YES! Thank you!

  3. Thanks so much for the great comments! It is always helpful to step out of our own world, our own heads and connect with others on a fundamental level.

    One of my all time favorite quotes is from Jesse Jackson-"Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result. Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you change."

    When we sweat together we bring about change.

  4. Beautiful quote by JJ, Desiree, and by *you* "When we sweat together we bring about change."


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