Giving With Love (Being Charitable Doesn't Have to be Financial)May 02, 2022
by Bobbi Sue Van Leuven
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put in giving” - Mother Theresa
During college, my roommate told me about someone she knew who said they were going to wait to be charitable until they had a job after graduating. That didn’t make sense to me because there are so many ways to give to others, beyond just money.
One day my husband and I were walking around our neighborhood in Philadelphia. I saw a man in a wheelchair on the corner trying to get anyone’s attention. He was not able to speak, but had a communication device and told us he needed to get to a certain place, but wasn’t sure which bus to take. My husband is much better than I with public transportation so he figured out where the man needed to go to get on the bus. The man explained that he needed help getting to the bus stop because the sidewalks were not very wheelchair accessible. He asked if we could help him and I told him “of course.” This 20-minute detour for my husband and I helped this man get home. For us it was simple. Not a big deal at all. Yet he had been on that corner for quite some time with no one even giving him a second glance.
Another example of giving with love, not money, is from a friend I met during grad school. One of our school assignments was to spend 12 hours with people we typically wouldn’t spend time with. One guy in my class visited a nursing home a few times to paint some of the women’s nails. He ended up really enjoying doing something so simple. He listened to their stories and had fun conversations with them.
My grandparents lived in a suburb of Philadelphia for decades. They became pretty close with their neighbors, sharing a love of the Phillies and Eagles. As my grandparents grew older things around the house became more difficult. My parents would worry about them trying to shovel snow off their sidewalks and driveway as physical demands became more difficult. That was until my grandparents told them their neighbor took care of that for them. Every time it would snow he would shovel his sidewalks and driveway than my grandparents. He didn’t ask to get paid, he did it because he loved them.
Giving can be even simpler than that. Is there someone at school or work who typically sits alone during lunch? Or someone who gets picked last in sports? Yeah, you might not win the game if you pick them, but is winning a friendly game more important than being kind to someone?
There is so much more to giving than just money.
How will you give to someone today?