Sarah Blackbourn

I was born to be a volunteer. Growing up with a sister with special needs and a sarahmother who leads by example (she co-founded the nonprofit organization Special Kids & Families in 1986), it’s been a natural progression from being conscious of the needs of others to being inclined to help. Years of learning from my mom and my sister, of working by their sides, left me with great clarity on the way my life would be prioritized.

Being able to help others is amazing in every aspect, but for me the best thing about philanthropy is the way it brings people together, whether you are involved in a project or an organization, or lending a hand to people in your community. Anywhere you look in the world, someone is in need of something and any time people join together to give and receive support, the effect is magical and contagious. There is untold value in knowing how to give, as well as how to receive, because this exchange is the best part of what it is to be human.

Personally, I never get tired of the feeling I get when I know that, because of something I did, other people now have the means to be healthier, happier, or even just to stay alive. And when it comes to humanitarianism, even the seemingly small acts count. From doing a simple kindness for a neighbor in need to making phone calls to buying fair-trade products, the proverbial bucket would be empty if not for all the drops. No matter what their role, people who take part in philanthropy see things differently, live more gratefully and move with greater purpose.

Sarah co-owns WhaleSaid on Etsy, which offers original, hand-made jewelry, art and accessories, with friend and fellow CMe Stories designer, Janika Sullivan.