November 9, 2008

generosity

Our 4-H club is putting together Thanksgiving food boxes for needy families. In order to gather all the necessary items, we decided to spend some time at W@lmart, asking people to donate food or finances.

We went yesterday, in the pouring rain, and stood outside for over 2 hours. It was me and my two big girls, as well as another 4-H family with two little girls. The girls handed out little shopping lists, asking for the items we needed and answered peoples' questions about what we were doing.

I was shocked at the generosity of every day people.


One woman came out of the store just was we were setting up. She had no cash with her but really wanted to help. So she drove across the street, bought two bags full of groceries and came back to put them in our box. Another man chatted with Lael and her friend for a few minutes before saying Alright, I'll get you a turkey in a very grandpa kind of way.

He came back out with not one but three turkeys. $45 worth of turkeys.

Last night as I was sorting through the food that covered my dining room table, I began to wonder why this sort of thing doesn't happen more often. Maybe it does and I'm unaware. But it seems to me that people were so willing to help because no one asks them to on a regular basis.


I think a lot of people assume that someone else is taking care of the needy and less fortunate. That someone is usually the government. I don't know when the switch happened that people stopped caring for others and just assumed the government was taking care of it.


Its always been this way to me. People are just so busy with their own careers, kids, activities, lives that there isn't time to think about the family down the street that's going through a rough patch. People are afraid of offending a neighbor if they offer a basket of food or even just a tray of treats. When did we get so sensitive? When did we get so isolated? When did caring for people become the same as being nosey?

My girls learned such an amazing lesson yesterday. The rest of our 4-H group is doing another food drive in two weeks and both the girls want to go again, even though we don't have to. This is how they want to spend their Saturday afternoon.

On the way home we were talking about what we'd just experienced.
Alyssa said, We did one of the Fruits of the Spirit today, didn't we?
Which one? I asked. I was lost for a moment.

Love. She replied.

Exactly.

4 comments:

  1. That is an awesome experience for your girls. How amazing.

    One of the things I think Americans often forget about (especially at election time when we are thinking a lot about what's wrong with our nation) is the fact that we're the most generous people in the world. We rise to the occasion when asked. I guess that's part of what really grieves me about the socialism we are heading towards: we are robbing people of the gift of giving by taking from them instead.

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  2. Awesome. Something encouraging though is that America is #1 in the world for charitable giving. So don't be discouraged. I can't remember the figure but it was amazingly high. Much, much higher than England, France, and a bunch of other European countries put together!! So, America is still doing it's job in giving regardless of what the media and others might say!

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  3. What a great experience for your girls and you! Its nice to have your faith restored in people every once in a while. Your girls are amazing little girls...I guess its because they have an amazing example in their parents. God Bless!! Julie

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