Thoughtful Giving

angel-fairy-godmother-saint-mosaicTomorrow has been deemed “Giving Tuesday” which could be written off as one of those Create-An-Occasions a la Hallmark.  But sharing even a small portion of what we have not only makes the world sweeter; it bolsters our own personal gratitude quotient and our empathy. Giving is not about tax write offs.  It’s not about guilt relief.

If you could give $100 on Tuesday, November 29th, who/what would be the recipient?  This is not only a game to ponder; it’s a real question.  Who or what have you noticed who could use $100?

Need help?  Here are some ideas:

  • Whom do you know who is making a positive difference in the world?  I know someone who takes an afternoon off each week from her paid-by-the-hour job to drive her disabled neighbor to and from dialysis.  I also know of a famous athlete with a foundation who gives sacrificially of his time to (without media) befriend children with cancer.  Is there someone you know or know of who is doing quiet things to share the love?
  • What organization has personally helped you or someone you love? My parents were both treated in the Lineberger Cancer Center of UNC Hospitals.  They were good to my mom and dad.  I know a church that bought a new car for a single mom who needed one.  I know another church who was there for a young widow to provide free babysitting for several months while she found a job.  I know another church that offers a free community dinner every Monday night.
  • What organization fights for justice, especially post-election?  You probably don’t need help with this one.  But if you do:  Who is helping poor women with reproductive health?  Who is serving refugees? Who is supporting undocumented children?  Who is working towards racial equality?  Who is standing with LGBTQ people?

If you are at a total loss, please consider giving to one of these organizations:

Presbyterian Disaster Relief not only helps those impacted by floods, storms, gun violence, and war.  They don’t leave when the media shifts their attention to the next thing.  PDA is still helping victims of Katrina while almost every other organization is long gone.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers has supported 35,000 farm workers and their families against sexual harassment, discrimination, and dangerous working conditions.  Through the Fair Food Program, respect and dignity for these workers continues to be their goal.

Computer CORE was established by leaders of a PCUSA church in Northern Virginia to offer job skills – especially computer skills – for highly motivated low-income individuals.  At this writing, they have improved the lives of over 2000 (mostly) immigrants in the suburban Washington, DC area.

The Night Ministry provides housing, health care, and emotional support to vulnerable people on the streets of Chicago.  Forty years ago, twenty congregations founded this organization and they continue to offer what no other program offers in Chicago.  In the middle of the night.

Even if you don’t have $100 to share on Tuesday, maybe you have $5. Thoughtfully consider how you might be an angel.  Keep in mind that angels do their work quietly and without a lot of fanfare.  Except here.

Image of Giving Tuesday logo, Glinda the Good Witch, the Angel Gabriel, and Saint Martin de Porres.  Be a good witch, an angel or a saint on November 29 this year.

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