Are you a natural giver?
Dear Friends and Partners,
Here it is November already. And, no, your newsletter wasn’t lost in the mail last month. We simply didn’t have enough funds to print and mail it. It was posted on the website: www.safehouseoutreach.org and those on our e-list received it as well. (to be put on the e-list, go to the website and sign up- it’s that’s simple)
We know that we’re not the only place where the economy issues have hit hard. For many of you, just giving to SafeHouse is a sacrifice for the same reason.
So, thank you, for your prayers and for your gifts for SafeHouse even when it might have been difficult. Please know that when you give, sometimes even out of your own need, you will be blessed. Giving is a good thing for the receiver and the giver as well. And this being the Thanksgiving month, I wanted to tell you a couple of stories about giving.
Some people are just natural givers. When our youngest daughters were little, we would take them to a fast food place for kids’ meals. They loved those meals- mostly because of the little toy that came with it. That cheap plastic toy might as well have been a pony. It was a valuable commodity to both of them.
One time when we treated the girls to one of these kid’s meals, something else happened. Both pulled that prized ‘toy’ out of their boxes and then without warning, one of our daughters got up, walked across the restaurant and gave the toy to a child who was eating with his mom. She came back empty handed and started on her hamburger-ketchup only.
Kind of amazed we asked, ‘Why did you do that?’
‘Because he didn’t get one,’ was her only answer.
Yes, she did have other toys at home, but she knew that this was considered a special treat- we didn’t buy kids meals very often which made the toy even more prized. But she’s a giver- she just does that.
That’s pure giving. Something we all strive for. That ability to give as an impulse, not something we’ve carefully thought through. Sometimes though, don’t we think that we can give better when we have more to give? Well, no- wrong.
Giving isn’t about what you have- it’s about what you depart with. One afternoon, Dacia was leaving SafeHouse and Carmen, a regular at SHO, said hello to her. She noticed a really unique handcrafted metal cross necklace on Carmen. ‘Wow! That’s beautiful, Dacia told her. ‘Where did you get that?’
Carmen is 62 years old and on the street. We have placed her in apartments, efficiency hotel rooms, and supportive housing- each time she leaves for one reason or another.
What she carries with her in a dilapidated grocery cart is what she owns. And what she owns is important to her.
‘There’s a church guy who came to the park one day and gave them out.’ she said. ‘He made them himself. Here, you have it.’ and she took it off her neck and handed it to Dacia.
‘No, no, no! This is yours,’ Dacia said trying to give it back. But Carmen wouldn’t have any part of it.
Suddenly the weight of that metal cross was heavier because it came from someone who had virtually nothing.
Something similar happened to Joe. In our Problem Solvers office, he sees not only homeless but very poor individuals as well; people who might have a very low paying job and live in a boarding house where they rent a room. It’s part of the process.
One evening Joe saw one of our regular guys wearing a great Out of Africa type hat. Joe knew that Stanley had probably bought it for himself and that in and of itself was a gift. ‘Stanley, I love that hat! It’s great!’ He thanked Joe and went on his way.
The next day, Stanley stopped by SafeHouse and presented Joe with a hat just like his. He had bought one for Joe.
Pure giving. Stanley didn’t have what others call ‘disposable’ income but still he gave- and out of practically nothing.
Joe carried that hat around like it was made of gold- and really- it was.
Strive for spontaneous giving. It will make you feel rich.
From the city,