Does Helping Others Make You Feel Good Too?

I have always enjoyed being helpful to others, particularly within the parameters of my personal expertise. Whenever I know that I have been of value to another, I feel fulfilled for that day.

For most of my life I have been a teacher. I have taught grades from kindergarten to college, in inner-city schools and private schools. I excelled at teaching literature, drama, and debate. My classes always went to competitions and walked away with the top honors for the state. I coached a variety of sports for kids. Been a Cub Scout Pack Leader; and I took 20 kids to Yosemite for a week. I have fostered churches and Home Bible Studies. And I have created numerous businesses, built them up and sold them.

But my most rewarding and challenging effort to help others was 20 years ago, during the Iraq War, when I started a unique job board for the 75,000 US Marines stationed next to my home at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. – The base was full to the brim, and everyday we saw dozens of young men with ‘jar-head’ haircuts walking around our town of Oceanside, looking a bit lost and sometimes forlorn. Our hearts went out to these boys who were about to face the horrors of combat. Some of them, we knew, were not coming home alive. We also knew that those that survived will have endured a fierce crucible and need some real R&R!

But as that war lasted, these Marines were coming home and then going back again, and again. There was very little time for any recuperation and recovery. That had a disastrous effect on their marriages. In the Infantry ranks there was a 90% divorce rate. Families were being destroyed. – Add that loss to the numerous other losses these US Marines endured, along with the lack of sleep and immense stress wracking their injured and worn bodies. – I had to do something!

The simple job board I created was a One Day job board for local homeowners and businesses to use when they needed some extra help with chores. Daily our US Marines were taking these jobs and being paid by the owners. The comments we received were confirmation of our efforts’ success: Such as this from a young Marine: “I am an avid user of your site where countless times I have found the means to make it through the month, and I wanted to thank you for it. You created a platform that serves veteran employment needs, and I cant begin to tell you how many times its made a difference not just for me, but for the members of the community I am able to serve again also. –Juan O – And here is one from a homeowner: “As a first time user of your HireMarines website, I wanted to let you know about my first experience as a “day job” employer. To say I was 100% satisfied would be an understatement! I had the pleasure of hiring Ed S., Sgt. USMC out of Camp Pendleton to help me out with a painting project. Sgt. Ed was everything you would expect in a Marine – polite, courteous, prompt, clean-cut, and a hard worker. I don’t know if you keep files on the Marines who use your service. If you do, please make a note in Sgt. Ed’s file that he is an excellent worker. I will definitely use your site again!”

It was not long before the Navy wanted to know if their sailors could take jobs off of the job board too. “Sure!” I replied. But then they wanted their own job board, so I created Ultimately, I created to combine every branch of our US Military. Now, almost 20 years later, tens of thousands of US Military, Veterans, and their spouses have earned money from our One Day job board. – San Diego County businesses gave us their Visionary Award for stimulating the local economies, and the Chamber of Commerce their Extra Mile award. People Magazine even did a feature about HirePatriots in their April 2013 issue “Americas Heroes Among US.” And both a Republican and a Democratic US President have given us medals.

But to run this job board and the multiple other programs we have created for US Military, Veterans, and their spouses has required $5000 a month. But everything we do for them is free, of course! Raising this money has been a challenge every month. So far I have needed to earn or raise $1,200,000. – I NEED SOME HELP!

There are 2 things you can do to keep my efforts going.

1)   Donate an unwanted vehicle. Car Donation 2 Veterans picks up cars and trucks in every state. And you receive a tax deduction receipt from our charity, Patriotic Hearts, for doing so.

2) Make a donation to Patriotic Hearts.

Thank you for reading this article. Please share it. And let’s connect!

Mark Baird


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