A Year of Gifts
Does the arrival of spring have you itching to clear out the clutter and clean things up? I know the change in season has that effect on me. But then the big question is “What do I do with all this stuff?”
Spring cleaning is the perfect time to weed out those items we no longer want. A strange phenomenon happens in my closet over the long winter months where some of my clothes inexplicably seem to shrink. Must be something in the air. Can you relate? Oh wait….maybe it isn’t the clothes that have changed shape. I could hang onto those items until I lose the extra weight that snuck up on me but, if I’m being totally honest, having to look at those clothes hanging in my closet every day that no longer fit is downright depressing. My vote is to donate the items. I’ll appreciate a less stuffed closet and someone else will certainly appreciate having “new” clothes to wear.
That’s just one small example of a way we can be generous with others. There are so many people out there, doing amazing things to help others, day after day. They are shining a light on a need and providing a platform to help meet those needs.
I have a friend getting married this summer and we gathered to celebrate her upcoming marriage. She requested that guests consider donating to our local YWCA if they wanted to bring a gift to the party. It was fun to see all of the supplies the guests carefully selected for donation to the worthy organization. Many of those everyday items are things most of us take for granted but are sorely needed by others.
I also heard an inspiring story on the local news this week. A man named Paul works at a home improvement store and he needed a new bicycle. Paul is a stellar employee and well loved by customers. Todd is one of those customers that appreciates Paul. When Todd found out Paul needed a bike, he wanted to help. Even though Todd doesn’t do much on social media, he set up a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise $500 for Paul. You see, Paul was born in Liberia and was adopted by missionaries. Traumatic events in his childhood left him with disabilities. He isn’t able to drive a car. Many people, including other customers as well as people from around the world stepped up. At the time of the news broadcast, more than $16,000 in donations had already been raised and the number was still climbing. Paul expressed how blessed he feels and he hopes to use the extra money to outfit the home he shares with his wife who also has disabilities.
I was blown away by how one person made such a difference in Paul’s life simply by recognizing the need and figuring out how he might be able to help meet that need. Todd provided the platform and the world responded.
It’s also rewarding to give unanimously. I was recently scrolling through a list of the top 25 TED talks of all times. When I saw one on the list by Tony Robbins, one of the most influential life and business coaches in the United States today, I knew it would be worth watching. I love his energy and enthusiasm. In this TED talk, Tony gave a personal account of how someone else’s generosity when he was a child forever changed the trajectory of his life. He began to replicate that act of kindness himself, quietly donating holiday meals to other needy families. It started him on the path where he still finds himself today. Just take a minute to think about the millions of people he has helped encourage and inspire over the years. The world is a better place because of that single act of kindness to his family during a difficult time.
There are as many ways to be generous as there are people in need. Mother Theresa said it well:
Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.
Try to find ways to be generous every day. A kind smile, a “new” jacket, or $1 donated to a needy cause all help to make this world a better place. You will feel great! Kim
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!