If you don't have any children, someone you know does. Or perhaps someone you don't know does.. Ask around and you'll discover who has a need that involves children. In this economy, with so many parents laid off or under employed, it could be very gratifying personally, to help folks who are smothering under a blanket of insufficient resources.
A few years ago during the holidays, I asked around at work and learned of a family that would be the benefactor of my good will. I gifted a single mom co-worker with an extremely generous gift card for groceries. Before I knew it, I was getting feedback from others that - hers wasn't a needy family after all. She drove a nice car, she makes this much an hour.. Blah blah blah blah blah. I gave her the gift card, anyway. As a single mother myself, I thought I understood the way I should care about my sister. Before the day was over, the co-worker asked me for the receipt so she could exchange the card for cash. I felt insulted, and was thinking there could be some truth to the gossip.
Why would she do that? As it turns out, she needed the cash to buy a game that her kids really wanted for Christmas. In the end, she found this game at the grocery store and she used the gift card to purchase it.
Later on, I felt guilty that I couldn't find the receipt for her, on purpose. I was ashamed that I chose to ignore her needs. An ordinary act of kindness had turned to turmoil. I allowed others to persuade me that by asking for the receipt to exchange the gift card for cash, she was being ungrateful. Spiritually, I was compelled to put a mirror in my face and take a long hard look at myself. Convicted by my own wrong attitude about giving.
Giving is not supposed to be about the giver or our desire or ability to give. Giving is about blessing others. In this case, the children of my coworker.
Lessons I learned about charitable giving:
- Find out and give what the recipient wants or needs.
- Let the giving be between the giver and God and the recipient.