Like many people in the current economy, Seth Reams of Portland, Ore., lost his job several months ago. But he soon realized that there were only so many hours a day he could spend looking for work—so what could he do with the rest of his time?“I felt like I wasn’t a member of society anymore, like I wasn’t contributing to this household anymore,” Reams told KOMO News. Reams knew that while he was out of work, he had plenty of time to help the people who needed it—and so did many other laid-off workers in his community. That revelation led to the creation of a new blog, We’ve Got Time to Help. In the blog, Reams organizes local people to take part in volunteer opportunities around Portland. So far, the group has grown to more than 100 members, who have taken part in more than 60 opportunities around the city: everything from doing yardwork for a woman with multiple sclerosis to collecting dog toys and food to give to an animal shelter. The organization has fostered a wonderful sense of comraderie as well: one member of the group, a professional photographer, has offered free headshots to jobseeking volunteers who’d like to update their resumés; and a licensed massage therapist is giving free massages to group members.Although Reams’ work with We’ve Got Time to Help doesn’t pay, he believes the affect its had on his outlook is invaluable.“It’s turned around 180 degrees,” he said. “I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. I’m busy every day with calls and e-mails and projects. It’s re-instilled a faith in humanity.” How you can help: If you live in the Portland, Ore., area, check out Reams’ blog, We’ve Got Time to Help, for volunteer opportunities. You can find additional volunteer opportunities in your own area through volunteermatch.org.
By Kathryn Hawkins
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