Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What 3,000 high school students taught me about the gift of giving



The moment when I was at the center of 3,000 people standing to say they wanted to help my family taught me a lot.

It taught me that I need to get over my inhibitions about fundraising for Malachi, because it's not about me, it's about him.

It taught me that almost nobody will help if you don't ask, but EVERYONE will help if you do ask.

It taught me the strength in numbers and the immense and universal power of compassion.

It taught me that it is really not about the money. None of those people had to donate a penny to make me feel their charity of spirit and none of them was pledging to buy more than a $1 raffle ticket. It didn't matter. Just knowing that people cared enough about our struggle to stand with us overwhelmed my sense of relief and gratitude.

It taught me the truth behind the statement I saw on a church billboard recently: "For someone to feel the gift of giving, you must receive." What if I had turned my back on the Sparrow Club, and said: "Thanks, but no thanks. We're going to do this on our own"? That moment would have never existed. Those kids would have never felt the power of standing together like that. They never would have seen how profoundly their simple act affected me and how much good they can do for a real person just by donating a buck. They would never have felt how awesome it feels to give if I hadn't been willing to receive.

A fabulous blog called Momastery also made this point recently, saying about its recent fundraiser that it really wasn't about the recipients.

"It’s for all of us to learn how powerful we each are, how much we have to offer even with the little we have. We are all in bits and pieces and when we offer our bits and pieces -MASTERPIECES are created!!!!"

It's really true. It feels good to give. It feels good to lend your arm in someone else's push up the hill. In fact, in the last month, I myself have given modest amounts to several campaigns, which is something I really haven't done in the last couple years. Especially since I found out we were having twins, I've been extremely cautious about money and certainly didn't feel like I had enough extra to give away. But those kids taught me that the act of giving BY ITS VERY NATURE means that you have enough. You simply cannot get that feeling from hoarding, or consuming, or even acquiring more money.

How many times have you heard someone richer than you complaining that they don't have enough? They're not lying — they really feel that way. That right there should make it obvious that it's not about reaching the next payday or the next tier of socioeconomic status.

It's not about what you have. It's about what you willingly give away.


Will you stand with those kids? Do you want to discover how great it feels to be part of our little "masterpiece"? Join our Kickstarter campaign! Or join some other cause! Seriously! I don't care who you give to, just give and revel in the feeling!

4 comments:

  1. That is awesome! good luck with your campaign!

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    1. Thanks Marcy! If you have any advice, be sure to let me know!

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  2. Yes yes and yes!!! We're meant to live in relationship with each other and you're building community by allowing people to surround you ( and others). I'm still amazed by our fundraising campaign, not by what we accomplished but by the spirit of generosity that was palpable.

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    1. I bet! I can't imagine what that felt like to have so many people donate so much. $40,000 is HUGE and the wheel-chair accessible van it bought has such a real and visible difference in your life. What a great way for your community to revel in giving!

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