I love this sentiment - but it's a difficult one to explain in words. I spent the better part of the day hanging out with my Little Brother, and when I told him what I was planning to do, I stumbled around for the right words. "You see, Rayne, if you give of yourself, you will get stuff in return. I'm not rich - in fact, I barely get by - but the little bit of money I plan to give away today is going to make a financial impact on me, but what I'll receive back is far more valuable."
"I totally get it," Rayne said. "Give and you shall receive."
So with Jamie in tow, the three of us took to the streets for a giving spree today. It's Christmas time, so I put on the reddest hat I have for some Secret Santa fun.
Our first stop was the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, right here in KCK. After some deliberation, we picked out a beautiful dog named Fancy.
|Courtesy petfinder.com and Humane Society of Greater Kansas City|
We didn't adopt Fancy. She's still at the shelter. But we sponsored Fancy - meaning we'll help pay for taking care of Fancy for a while, which will make it easier for the shelter to give her a home into the future and, hopefully, find her a permanent home.
And Fancy needs one. She's a big girl - an Akita mix, weighing about 90 pounds - and she's nine years old. Old dogs and big dogs are extremely hard to adopt, and Fancy's got both strikes against her. In fact, Fancy has been at the Humane Society for eight years.
If you're looking for a dog, I implore you - consider adopting Fancy. She's a friendly girl, she's beautiful and she could keep you warm this winter. Check out Fancy's PetFinder page for more information.
After we left the shelter, we completed some light grocery shopping for upcoming Christmas dinners. We also purchased several canned foods and dry goods, enough to fill up a grocery sack, and before we left the store we dropped the sack into the collection bin for Harvesters Community Food Network, a local organization with a mission "to feed hungry people today and end hunger tomorrow." I can't think of a more appropriate way to give - especially during the holidays.
After all that giving, the three of us were famished. We proceeded to the drive thru of the nearest fast food restaurant and placed our order. When I pulled up to the payment window, I handed over my credit card and said, "I'd also like to pay for the order for the car in line behind me."
That's when I received my reward for the day.
As the cashier rang up my order, she and another employee were chatting about my gesture. I couldn't believe it when she said, "People have been doing that all day. You're the third person this afternoon to pay for the next car's food."
Wow. Sometimes it takes Christmas to pull it out of people, other times fortune cookies, but I learned today that we really are generous. We care for one another. Sometimes people say the giving spirit is dead, especially in big city life. But I live in a big city. And I learned that my acts of generosity today are not at all unique. We are surrounded by caring, generous people.
"If you continually give, you will continually have." What I learned to day is much more valuable than what I gave.