The Heartwarming Journey of Giving Back: From Kindergarten Notes to Tijuana Adventures

Several years ago, my youngest daughter wrote her Kindergarten teacher a note, telling her that she made her heart blast. Who knew that learning your ABC’s and your 1 2 3’s could make you so joyful? I’ve had a few heartwarming moments on my own Journey of Giving Back, but not from anything academically related.

Giving back to others fills my cup, and makes my heart blast.

I’m not here to convince you to get on a board, fork over a percentage of your income. You can start serving in the soup kitchen or create blessings bags each weekend. But if you feel called to do more in the giving department, I want to stack up the evidence on why you should lean into that tug on your heartstrings with a story of my own.

Giving back can come in a variety of ways. 

Financial giving can be incredibly beneficial and go towards a number of areas where man power can’t. It certainly has its place. But, I want to focus on giving of your time and energy. Let’s be honest, sometimes these are the more difficult resources to part with.

Growing up, I don’t know that we did any real volunteering or giving back traditionally. Instead, our approach was more neighborly and familial. If someone needed veggies from the garden or help fixing their fence, my parents were quick to jump in

As an adult, especially living in a community where need is visible and present. I felt called to give more of my time and energy. This was especially true when I had limited financial resources. Volunteering at the Portland Rescue Mission or making blessing bags for the homeless was fulfilling. It felt like a double gift, benefiting both others and myself.


The dial was turned up a few notches when I was able to volunteer not once, but twice on a four-day journey of giving back with my former employer to Tijuana Mexico to assist with building a small home for a community member. The difference a handful of people could make in the lives of another family – just like mine – and realizing the conditions that made someone so grateful compared to the excess that I was used to was…humbling. 

After my first trip in 2017 I knew that I would be back again – leading my own trip in the future.

Fast forward to 2022 – the first Journey to Tijuana trip commenced!

Organizing travel, facilitating forms, answering questions, creating a much talked about itinerary, and prepping for our trip was a feat. 

  • Air travel included an unfortunate layover.
  • Our van experience was an adventure all it’s own.
  • The showers were tepid the first day that we stayed at La Posada.
  • Work days were in full use of our muscles.
  • Community activities were eye opening.

And it was incredible. Every single moment.

“Should” you give back? 

Not for me to say – but I’d encourage it all day long, for any of these well meaning reasons.

Make a Positive Impact: Giving back allows you to make a tangible and positive impact on the lives of others, helping to improve their communities and the world at large.

Fulfillment and Happiness: Generosity often leads to a sense of fulfillment and happiness. Knowing that you’ve made a difference can boost your overall well-being.

Strengthening Values: It reinforces and demonstrates important values such as empathy, compassion, and altruism, setting an example for others, especially children.

Building Connections: Engaging in philanthropy and volunteer work fosters connections and builds relationships with like-minded individuals who share your passion for a cause.

Personal Growth: Giving back can be a transformative experience that helps you grow as a person. It challenges your perspectives, broadens your horizons, and encourages personal development.

Sense of Purpose: For many, contributing to a cause provides a sense of purpose and direction in life, giving them something meaningful to work toward.

Health Benefits: Acts of kindness and generosity have been linked to improved physical and mental health. Giving can reduce stress, boost the immune system, and increase feelings of happiness.

Reducing Inequality: Giving back can help address social and economic inequalities by supporting organizations and initiatives that aim to uplift marginalized and underserved populations.

Gratitude: Giving back can make you more appreciative of what you have, helping you recognize the blessings in your life and fostering gratitude.

Ultimately, giving back is a way to contribute to the greater good, promote a more compassionate and connected society, and find personal fulfillment and purpose in the process. Whether through volunteering, donating, or any other form of giving, it’s a practice that benefits both individuals and the world as a whole.

Season of Giving

We took this inaugural Journey to Tijuana, our journey of giving back, back in April of this year – but I saved our story for November.  Why was that? Well, statistically many people donate or feel more charitable during the holiday seasons due to a spirit of generosity. I’m going to lean into that…and invite you to join me for our trip in 2024. 

Four days in early May, $500 for all inclusive needs plus the purchase of your own air travel to San Diego, and a lifetime of stories and impact.


Earlier this year I opened up registration for our 2024 trip and we already have 13 individuals ready to pack their bags. We have room for 34.

With tears in my eyes I found that every adult that attended the 2023 trip signed up for 2024, and they’re bringing their friends and family along journey of giving back

This is influence. And this is impact. This is work that matters.

It’ll make your heart blast.

I hope that you’ll consider joining me in Tijuana next year. This journey has far and wide reach. The difference that we’ll make together will reach far beyond those four days together.

If you have questions don’t hesitate to reach out [email protected] 

Sarah is a Ramsey Preferred Coach
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