People in my books tease Polly about her propensity for rescuing people, animals, and even buildings. Though I’m not actively involved in any “rescues” right now (unless you count my bringing a cute little cat into the house – and I’m pretty sure she’s working on rescuing me), it is something I passionately believe in and financially support in ways I will never share or express. That’s my thing to do – you have your own.
I am always grateful when people ask me to help. I appreciate the opportunities that are often opened up to me in ways that I didn’t even realize were possible. I appreciate supporting others who are willing to leap out of their safety zone into a world where they can care for others.
This comes from a lifetime of learning. My grandmother often asked my father to sit with her and look over the charities she supported. They grew from year to year as she found one more place that could use a little help. She didn’t have a lot of money, but she shared whatever she could. When my father died and I opened up his files, I was astounded at the huge variety of charities that received money from him. He always did his research and was as frugal a man as I’ve ever known, but his generosity knew no bounds.
We grew up in small towns in Iowa in the sixties and seventies. Dad knew who was in need and did what he could to help. Transients and homeless individuals and families came through town and ended up in our home for a meal before moving on. We learned what it meant to give. One of the most memorable lessons the three of us kids learned was the night that a family with small children ate with us. Before they left, Mom sent us to our rooms to choose a toy to give away. We were under strict orders to *not* choose something we had tired of playing with, but to choose one of our favorite toys. That was important to Mom and Dad – that we not give from our excess, but from our heart. It is a memory that each of us carried. Sure, there was a little resentment at the moment, but the learning that came from it made each of us understand true generosity and it grew easier and easier for us throughout our lives. Because giving that comes from struggle makes the bond much deeper. There is a relationship between the giver, the gift and the one who receives.
Jon Acuff is a pretty cool young man (I can say that – I’m old, ya know). He writes awesome books on change … stepping out of your safe place … being brave … grabbing life without fear. And he’s got a huge heart. I’m not asking you to support this, but I do want to give you the opportunity.
Buy a candle for yourself or as a gift and support a group that believes in rescuing people from the worst our society has to offer. They operate not only in the Nashville area, but support organizations around the country. Watch the video if nothing else. Get to know Jon, read his blog, check out his books. Be inspired to reach beyond yourself, especially when it isn’t easy.
I know we all have groups / rescues / charities, etc., you are passionate about. For that I am so grateful. My character – Polly – reminds us constantly how important it is to find ways to be involved in someone else’s life. It doesn’t matter whether it is close to home or far away, whether you do it face to face or are generous with money or in other ways. The only thing that matters is that we do something beyond ourselves.