Giving & Gratitude

I remember years ago, receiving a donation of two crumpled dollar bills. The envelope included no name. It said only “Because you helped my children.” Few gifts have touched me in the way that donation did. Someone who had so little to give, gave from gratitude. Giving is most beautiful when it comes from a place of gratitude.

I saw that beauty this week with a mother of three -- Yesterday one of our Family Advocates dropped off food, formula, diapers and wipes to a family clearly in great need. The mother thanked the Advocate, saying, “Here, you can take these diapers and give them to another family. I have what I need, and I want to help.”

Even though her needs are vast, she wanted to help others. Families who have lost jobs, have no means of getting out of the house, have so little and have every reason to be discouraged – are repeatedly expressing their gratitude – and wanting to know how they can support each other.

This morning, as I write this, I am overcome with gratitude for the small to the large. I am grateful for a refrigerator and pantry full of fresh vegetables, milk, eggs and bread. I am grateful for a husband who loves his family and is employed. I am grateful for my 14-year-old son and the yard where we can throw a ball, or pull weeds. I am grateful my college daughter is home, safe, and has supplies to practice her emerging art.

Today, I am gratefully giving in support of the single mother who doesn’t have a dual-income, or transportation, or fresh food. I am giving in support of every 5- to 15-year-old boy who has a crowded apartment, but not a yard, grass or a ball. I am giving in support of every mother who is changing diapers, watering down formula, and trying to entertain a toddler with hand-me-down crayons.

I am giving out of gratitude.

You can join me here.

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