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The Art of Giving

When you are out and about in your daily routine and someone asks for your help, do you help them? Do you find it easy to donate your time and money to a cause you care about? Do you encourage your children to give to others?

As a financial parent, it is important to teach your children the importance of giving back to their community and helping others in need. While September 2017 has been a month to remember for Houston, Florida, Georgia residents who were greatly impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, it made me think about how many parents used it as a teaching moment for their children.

With so many organizations taking in donations and money for victims, I wondered if parents had allowed their children to be a part of the healing process by showing others they care. When I was younger, I remember being taught the importance of sharing with others. Because it was instilled in me from a very young age, I continue to do so as an adult.

As I heard about people losing their homes, cars, businesses and so many other things that were important to them, I began to put myself in their shoes and think about the impact someone taking time out to help me would make me feel. I also thought about how it feels when you give to someone.

I knew the instant benefits of how receiving help personally made me feel, but the more I thought about things I enjoyed the gift of giving more. As a result, I compiled a list of the top five benefits of being a G.I.V.E.R.

  1. Gratitude. No matter what your income is, you become grateful for the fact you had the money, resources, or time to give to others.

2. Inspire. When you give to others, you motivate them to do good things for others as well. You also help them feel like someone cares and they are not alone.

3. Viewpoint. The way you feel about life changes. You begin to care more about the needs of others rather than just your own needs.

4. Enjoy. The feeling you get when you know that you could make a difference in the lives of others is unforgettable. When you can see someone turn their life around because of you, it is a life-long enjoyable feeling.

5. “Reap what you sew”. Yes, the saying is true. Reciprocity happens the most when you give with a cheerful heart. I have had so many instances where I gave because I wanted to sincerely help someone and the next thing I know I received the same love in return.

Whether we are giving back locally, regionally, or nationally, we all have a duty as an American to help others in need. As parents, we should be exposing our children to opportunities to give on a regular basis. As a nation, it is important for us to come together for natural disasters, but it is also important to make sure we are giving back in our local communities. The earlier we teach kids “the gift of giving” the longer they can practice making it a habit.

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