A few months ago, I realized something. Many stores I was going to would ask me to donate a dollar for one charity or another.
Costco asked me to donate to Riley Hospital, Walgreens would ask for a dollar for the American Cancer Society, and now I must confess that I even enjoy a Taco Bell burrito every once in a while (apologies to Dr. Lisa because it was there that I realized something about a simple dollar for charity.
After I ordered at the drive thru the attendant asked for a $1 donation to support local programs to keep High School students in school and graduating. His spiel was very hurried and I didn’t even understand what he said. I think that’s why I took notice. Two things happened simultaneously.
- I realized that my automatic response to the requests for charity from corporate sources had too often become: “Not today, thank you.”
- I also realized that I had a habit of not really listening to what my donations were being requested for.
I asked him to repeat what he said, simply curious about why they were collecting dollar donations when he didn’t end the spiel with “hospital” or “foundation”. I decided supporting teens in any community was a very great cause and said: “Ok, yes.”
The speaker sort of paused and asked “Really?”
This took me by surprise again. “Yes.” I said.
“Well, thank you very much!” he enthused.
At the window I received a coupon for a free taco and genuine gratitude for the donation. Another two realizations happened for me.
- The response of almost disbelief resounded with me on my way home. Perhaps I was the first person of the day to donate to the cause. Perhaps, it just didn’t happen very much at all.
- I wondered at the coupon for the free taco. What kind of future are we cultivating where companies are finding it necessary to create incentives for patrons to donate to the betterment of our community?
The entire situation was very thought provoking as you can see. I kept the coupon in my bible to remind me of that day always. Since then I have made a conscious effort to give charity, and even if I do this two or three times a week it is only ever amounts to $10-$15 a month.
I felt very blessed that day to simply have the dollar to give. And I understood this could be why Acts 20:35 mentions: “… we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
It does feel good to give.
The origin of the word charity means “Christian love of one’s fellow man”. Is it any wonder that during the Christmas season we will have many more stores asking us for our dollars for charities? The salvation army bell ringers will be at the entrance to every mall and the food drives will be soliciting donations for the many families in need of wholesome holiday meals this Christmas.
This could be the year we all decide to give a little more. Maybe we won’t wait for someone to ask us for our canned goods, but we could go a little out of our way to find a donation box. Maybe it will be the first year we sign up to buy a Christmas present for an Angel Tree child. Or maybe we’ll remember to drop some money in a Salvation Army bucket on the next trip to the supermarket (even if it is just the pennies and nickels and dimes we’ve been meaning to clean out of our vehicle’s extra cup holder).
Charity is love, and we all know how much the world could use a little more of that all year long. May God bless you so much that you have more than plenty of extra dollars to be the blessing for others this Christmas.
Written with love by,
Amber, the girl who edits your Excell for Life newsletter (Dec 9, 2013)