I just finished reading (and crying purple puddles) an article in my local paper about one radio station and one volunteer who, not only met the needs of one very appreciative family, but went above and beyond those needs to just lend a helping hand. The mom was recovering from surgery and could not afford to make the payment on her cello prodigy son’s instrument. The volunteer took $100 gas card, $100 in cash and contacted people in all walks of life to help this family. The local high school students donated canned goods, someone else donated over 100 lbs of meat for their freezer, someone fixed the mold problem in their home, someone refurnished the room that had the problem and put up new siding too, someone donated cleaning agents and personal hygiene products, a local water park gave them a 3 day/2 night stay while the house was worked on, a local restaurant gave them breakfast for their stay, mom got a massage, etc. AND not only did they make the payment on the cello, it was paid off!!! AND the prodigy got a scholarship to go to an elite music camp for kids like himself. AND his brother, who suffers from bipolar disorder, got a scholarship to go to a therapeutic horseback riding camp TOO!!!
This is so amazing!!! We all have the power to do nice things. We all have the power to do something for someone else when we see a need!
A “rainman” type man came to our church dinner a while back and played chess with everyone who would challenge him (beat them all too). He then taught my 7 y.o. how to play. When everyone was gone but the clean up crew, Rainman was still there. When he heard that the children needed to help clean up he offered to sweep the floor with them. When the kid’s work was done, he took them outside and played monkey in the middle with the kids, while us grown ups finished up! If a blind person had been there listening to the game, they would not have known that a 40 something year old man was playing! While he was there I worried that perhaps he was not just a simple-minded person needing a friend and then I thought to myself, and I kid you not- “He could be Jesus in disguise!” We all were kind and he returned the favor by being kind. I don’t know if he was Jesus or not but I know that he paid it forward. He gave what he had: a chess board, a helping hand, and the heart of a child.
When you watch Oprah’s Big Give- don’t think to yourself, “I could never do that! I don’t have the money. I don’t have the time” Blah, blah, blah Don’t kid yourself and then feel guilty because you allowed Satan to let you believe in “I Can’t”. If money is a factor then give of your time. If time is a factor, and you can afford to, then give with your pocket book!! If time is a factor and you don’t have extra money, then give simply and quickly. Example:
- Someone at the gas station doesn’t have that last quarter- give them the quarter you have in your pocket (you know it was just going into the change can at home anyway)
- You are dashing through the grocery store and you see someone reaching for something and you can get it for them- GET IT FOR THEM!!!
- You often wish you had time to tell people that you’ve been thinking of them or praying for them but you don’t take the time- buy a box of cards with simple sentiments and keep them in your car with your address book and some stamps. Next time you are waiting in the drive through or waiting at school to pick someone up, sign your name to a card and drop it in the mail.
- Take the extra 30 seconds to return your cart to the cart corral. The store employees responsible for getting the carts will appreciate it!!!
- While gathering your stuff up after church you see a mom struggling to get her kids gathered up, take 2 extra minutes and scoop up a kid for her or offer to hold the baby while she puts her coat on.
- Most Importantly: Say please and thank you to every single person who does anything for you: the drive up window person, the gas station clerk, the secretary, your kid when they bring you some dandelions from the front yard, your other kid when they “transplant” your prized tulips, your husband who clears the table but forgets to wipe it off, your wife who checks the oil in the car but does it on a hill, the neighbor kid who can be a real pain but when they’re over your kids play nicely and you get a few moments of peace, etc. My list could go on and on!! JUST SAY THANK YOU!!