Room to Give

August 30, 2018

As a kid, I always begged my mom to give money to our local public television station during their pledge drives. Even though my motivation was probably to get that stuffed Arthur plush doll as a thank you gift, I also thought it would be good to give them money since they seemed to really need it and I watched A LOT of their programming. (I didn’t have cable tv growing up so PBS Kids was an ESSENTIAL part of my childhood.)

Now that I’m an adult, I still have the same belief. If someone is expressing that they need help for a charitable organization or themselves, I do my best to give as I feel led. Growing up, I can remember my mom donating her time to our church as well as other people. When I was in 6th grade, my mom would drive me 45 minutes in Chicago (one way) for math tutoring. I remember there was often a homeless man down the street from the building asking for money for food. On several occasions, my mom would offer to pay for his Boston Market meal around the corner. I can remember him coming in and waiting in line behind us, picking what he wanted, and my mom paying for it. Seeing things like that were pretty normal to me.

Over the years, my husband and I have given money to our church and other organizations that we felt led to. Not to pat ourselves on the back or to make ourselves feel like good people, but because we believe in helping other people in that way with the peace and finances to do so. It wasn’t always easy but it was worth it. As I get older, the more I realize that people don’t only need finances but the time from others to partner with them. Whether it’s helping someone move, making a meal for someone that’s recently released from the hospital or volunteering, that can mean just as much (or sometimes more) than a monetary donation.

This past week, I volunteered with the Wee Read a program where new books were donated by Friends of the Library and distributed through the Parents as Teachers organization to local family participants in my area. I’ve taken advantage of both the library and Parents as Teachers services so it was a no-brainer for me to get involved. I make it a point to volunteer for a few hours during the yearly event. (The picture for this week’s blog is from volunteering with Wee Read and just a portion of the books that were being donated. 😍)

The project usually entails putting Wee Read stickers on barcodes, creating packets for Parents as Teachers participants, and boxing up books for distribution. Parents as Teachers, a program in which a trained professional comes to your home to assess a child’s development under age 6 and provides ideas for their overall growth, is a phenomenal resource. Not to mention, I love the library. ❤️📚 (Fun fact: I’m also a Friend of the Library and do my best to help out one evening during their spring or fall book sale.)

Acts of Service is one of my primary love languages. It’s a joy for me to serve where I can and help other people. I know this doesn’t always come naturally for everyone and requires sacrifice but it’s something that I want to make room for. Everyone is busy and it can be tempting to feel that your circumstances are the most important. Although taking care of yourself and your needs are essential, it’s also important to remember the impact that our actions have on other and our community. Giving is work. Giving makes an impact. Giving is worthwhile.

Acts 20:35 NLT – And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”