Experience Katrina

For the past two weeks I have been immersed in a Katrina relief effort. I have had the honor of meeting several individuals whose lives were swept away by Hurricane Katrina.

I'm not sure many of us have ever had to live through a castrophic experience like the citizens of the Gulf coast. Nothing I've experienced can touch it, and my heart aches for the thousands of displaced people.

There's something humbling about staring into the eyes of people that have lost everything. It puts new perspective on my own, personal fear of losing what I have, when I have dinner with people who don't know where the next meal will come from. It makes me want to give everything I have away ...

Ironically, I've found that the more I give of myself, the richer I feel. How's that for an experience paradigm?

Not sure how many of you have donated money to the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army or any of the dozens of other charities out there, but please give generously. If you can, find a charity with matching grants, so your dollars will stretch even farther.

In addition to giving your money - I really encourage you to give of yourself. Through local charities, churches, synagogues there are hundreds of opportunities for you to help a local family in need in your own community. Beyond the actions they recommend, you can find unique ways to help on your own:

- Pick up some dinner and take it over
- Drop off a nice bag of groceries
- Help paint a room or fix something broken
- Offer childcare for an evening or two
- Volunteer to cook for a local women's or homeless shelter
- Sign up to be a big brother or sister
- Fill a few backpacks with school supplies
- Pay for a much-needed car repair
- Give them tickets to the movies
- Help find someone a job

Do this, and I guarantee you'll find what I have discovered the past few weeks: The more you give to others, the richer you become, and the more in touch you get with yourself at your best.

Click here for a gripping video on Katrina relief (turn up your volume) created by Gary Sloate and a list of charities that support Hurricane Katrina victims.

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LEIGH DURST

LEIGH DURST
I’m Leigh Durst, a 20 year veteran in business, operations, customer strategy, ecommerce, digital & social media and marketing. Simply put, I’m a strategist that helps companies (start-up to blue chip) achieve business shift, create more compelling online and offline experiences. I also write, speak and teach about experience design and next-generation business. I’m a futurist, visionary, strategist, doer and connector with a passion for people and helping others. When I’m not on the road, you’ll find me in the San Francisco bay area, working, beaching it and hanging out with my family and dog.

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