When my perfect daughter was seven she uncharacteristically did something wrong. It became a learning opportunity. We set up a lemonade stand in the parking lot of the Hiawatha Golf Course in south Minneapolis on a hot sultry day. She sold a refreshing beverage for a few hours and then we proceeded to St. Joseph’s Home for Children on 46th Street, where she felt the joy of charitable giving ($7.43) and got to tour the facility, including seeing kids on lockdown. She simultaneously became appreciative and generous, both of which are traits she possesses to this day.
For a decade to follow, at year’s end I’d provide her with a gazillion solicitations for charitable causes, a checkbook, and $300, and she read the need statements and made informed decisions about how to distribute that $300 to have impact, altruism, and empathy. Arts institutions, animal rescue organizations, child welfare agencies, educational alma maters (of hers or mine), and disease research foundations usually rose to the surface. In her DNA is the desire to give not from abundance but from a desire to make a change.
On Give To The Max Day you will be inundated by requests, appeals, and gimmicks to part you with your dollars – for 24 hours. Study them consider them, prioritize them, but give.
Have people lost touch with what is enough? We claim to not have enough time, money, things, and so we squirrel things away so that if we ever don’t have enough, we will. Having made my career in the non-profit sector for 44 years, 501(C)(3) organizations never have enough. That culture of scarcity is so pervasive that we’ve lost the meaning of sufficient.
If Mixed Blood makes it onto your list of prioritized giving on this GTMD, thank you. But don’t hoard on this Thursday – a fortnight before Thanksgiving – but recognize your own enough and, beyond that, share. Give not from abundance but from a desire to make a change.