Wednesday, October 20, 2010

1:52 PM - 4 comments

The Power of a Simple Gift

I have always wanted be a great philanthropist. I’ve always thought it would be so great to be able to bestow large gifts on a great charity or some deserving person. I remember hearing how Elvis bought cars for strangers and always thought that would be so awesome to be able to do that.

I’ve read recently where Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are joining forces to try and get some of the other of the world’s richest folks to pledge to give away half of their fortunes. Can you imagine how many charities could benefit?? How many people could be helped from some donations of that magnitude?

But the chances of me ever having wealth like that to share is pretty slim. So I have to make do with what I have. I can’t give great sums of money, but I give what I can when I can.

And it doesn’t have to be a monetary gift. I try to share my humor as often as I can. I’m amazed at how many folks say they stop by this blog or my FaceBook page to get a smile. That makes me feel good.

But did you know that even a small monetary donation can have HUGE ramifications? A couple of dollars in the right spot can benefit so many folks… many that you may never even know about.

For example… in the mid-70s, I was a member of our church youth group. We had planned to go to camp for three days and the cost was $10.00. That seems like such a small amount now, but back then, it may as well have been $1 million. I wasn’t going to be able to go because we didn’t have the money to spare.

So on Sunday night after church, a member pulled me aside, pulled out his wallet, and gave me the $10.00 so I could go to camp with my friends. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. He didn’t have to give a large sum. And the amount he gave has benefited so many over the years.

He doesn’t know it, but because of his $10.00 gift to me so many years ago, countless kids have been able to go to camp over the years. Because I remember how I felt when he gave it to me, OWN (‘Ol Weird Nancy) and I always make sure every child that wants to go to camp can go. We don’t know their names… don’t care to… but the Youth Minister just lets us know there is a need.

So the Power of a Simple Gift can have far reaching effects. I happened to see that phrase on a Samaritan’s Purse brochure about Operation Christmas Child. What a great way to share a small gift. And who knows how it will affect the child that receives it… or the person that gives it.

I hope to one day be able to share my thanks with my benefactor from so many years ago. But just in case I don’t, if you’re ever in or around Jacksonville, NC and bump into Jim Tomlinson, tell him the kids going to camp sure do thank him.

And that’s MY take.

4 comments:

You lifted my spirits Thom, thank you.

THIS IS A GREAT UPLIFT FROM FORTY YEARS AGO. I TOO REMEMBER THAT NIGHT WELL. WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY SINCE BLUE CREEK.
I ALSO LOVE BLUEGRASS AND SOUTHERN GOSPEL MUSIC, AND HELPING YOUNG PEOPLE FIND THE RIGHT PATH TO THE LORD. NOW MY CHILDERN ARE ADULTS AND ARE QUICK TO DO THE SAME.
IT SEEMS THE LORD HAS BEEN GOOD TO US BOTH.
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU, THOMAS.
jtomlinson3@ec.rr.com [Jim Tomlinson]

Thomas, YOU are a special person in our life. Thank you for sharing.

Thomas, You are so special! Thanks for sharing this. It is something my dad would have done.

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