Monday, December 10, 2012

What Does Giving Look Like?

This week at Compassion International, we are asked to write about what it looks like to give in today's culture.
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This is an interesting question in this season of giving. The myriad ways of giving are a sharp contrast to what was available when I was a child. I remember little envelopes that my parents would tuck a check into, for a charity that spoke to them. What did giving look like when you were young?

These days, I can guess that about 98% of our giving goes through the Internet. Whether it's a donation to the kids' school, our monthly temple dues, or Peter's monthly sponsorship, giving through the Internet is fast, easy and secure. When I wanted to start our own little fundraiser for Mae's Heritage Trip, it only took minutes to find a dozen on-line giving sites. How much more difficult, for both the giver and the person who was needy, was giving before the Internet and PayPal? Often, as recently as last week in my case, I will come across a blogger that I read and find a link to a giving website. Water, adoption costs, whatever. It is so easy to pop over and donate $10. I would venture to guess that giving is easier in today's culture. 

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Granted, not everyone in the world has the resources we have - but they are probably not the ones giving in this way. For there are many ways to give, are there not? I don't think my $10 towards a well is any more important than the little hands that prepare Papa's lunch every day he digs. Nor is it more helpful than the amazing people out in the field making little miracles like this happen every day. Oh no, there are many ways to give.I think the most dangerous thing is to think, "My donation will be so little; it won't help anyway." Never think this way. Always give. Only what you can for you and your family. And only for those causes that strike a chord with you. We can't all give to everything, after all. 

One easy way is to shop the Compassion Christmas Gift Catalog. Quick, easy, secure and meaningful. It's just a suggestion. Help at a soup kitchen this month. Buy a few canned goods for the food pantry. Anyway, anything ... you can help. 

Happy holidays! 

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