Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gift of Giving - Will You Join In?

At my workplace, the owners began a Gift of Giving program last holiday season. They give each employee $100 and ask that the employee use the money to help an individual or family in need. The only parameters are that the person(s) must be outside your family, and it cannot be an organization - it must be an individual or family. Employees are then asked to write their stories anonymously in a shared document on our network. A couple of those stories are below.

Doing this small, simple act can have such an impact on people in need. We are allowed to give whatever message we want when we gift the money. I have asked recipients to pay it forward. I would now like to see how many of you are willing to pay it forward. Would you join us this year and gift $100 of your money to a person or family in need? If so, would you please write your story in the comments section here. You can remain anonymous if you would like.

A couple of stories from employees at my workplace:

A friend of mine volunteers for an organization called Mary Queen of Angels. They help mothers with young children who can’t afford the things they need to take care of their children. They help them provide food, diapers and wipes, etc for their children. I gave my $100 to a 30-year old single mother of two small children who is unemployed. She does not own a car so her father has to take her places. She receives no child support from the father. She said her children don’t have many clothes so she is constantly washing their clothes so they at least have clean clothes to wear. She is living with her cousin because her heat was turned off. Her refrigerator recently broke and she lost about $70 worth of food. One of her children has severe adhd and she can barely take him out in public. She said she hadn’t bought her kids any Christmas presents yet. She was very grateful and surprised by the $100 gift and was going to buy food and Christmas presents for her children.

A local charity put me in touch with a woman in need who lives in my area. She is 53 years old and single. She recently had hip surgery and is unable to work because of her physical condition. She has fallen behind financially. She doesn’t have any family in the immediate area. She tries to have a positive outlook but sometimes gets discouraged about what the future might hold. She was surprised when she received the $100 bill. She said she plans to use the money to buy a winter coat and shoes. It also gave her hope for the future and made her want to spread the joy by performing a random act of kindness for someone else.

Happy Holidays!

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