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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Time to Give: I Can't Do It All

Welcome back to A Time to Give, my weekly feature where we share ways to give, ways to share, ways to be generous. If this is your first time stopping by, welcome! You can read the original A Time to Give post HERE. In a nutshell, I started this feature as a way for us to inspire each other to be even more generous. I tend to get wrapped up in finding great deals, and I don't want to lose sight of one of the reasons we live frugally... to be able to give more. Each week I'll share a giving idea of mine, and you share a giving idea of yours.

Sometimes I have to go looking for ways to give. Other times I find more ways to give than I could possibly be part of in a lifetime. That seems to be the case this Christmas season. Last year, we had to search high and low for a family to help for Christmas. (We like to find someone who is known by someone we know. That way we can find out more about the family and personalize our gift-giving a bit more.) We did a lot of last-minute shopping because it took so long to find someone who needed a little help!

This year, it seems like there is another need every time you turn around. And these are valid needs, some of them HUGE needs. I started to get discouraged when I realized that we would have to choose who to help while letting some of the other needs go unmet. I want to help them ALL! But I have to be realistic.

I. can't. do. it. all.

There... I said it. I seriously have to remind myself that I'm not the only person on Earth who is able to help the people I'm hearing about. I have made up my mind to focus on what I CAN do instead.

While I can't help all of the needy families I hear about, I CAN help the one family that my office is supporting this Christmas. I may not be able to pack boxes for a whole unit of soldiers in Iraq, but I CAN send one great care package to our friend Robert who is stationed there this Christmas.

So I have to remember that I can't help everyone. I have to remember that each and every person represented by the needs I've heard about is precious to the One who can meet every one of their needs. He alone is able to prompt others to share with those who need a helping hand. And He has specific people chosen to help each and every one of them. It may not be me, but it will be someone who will be blessed by the simple act of giving.

Now it's your turn to share your ideas for sharing, giving, and being generous. Note: If you are reading this post via an email subscription or a blog reader, you'll need to click the title of the post in order to see the links left by others.

You can participate in a couple of ways. If you're a blogger, write a post about a way that you've been able to give. It can be something simple or something out-of-the-ordinary that you did. It can be something from this week or from last year. Don't think of it as bragging... It's a way to encourage others to take action and be more generous! A few guidelines for bloggers:
  • Please add a link to Saving and Giving so that your readers can find everyone's ideas all in one place.

  • Make sure the link that you add here takes people directly to your A Time to Give post, not the main page of your blog. To do that, publish your post, view your blog, right click on the title, and copy the shortcut. Then paste that shortcut in as your URL here.

  • Bloggers who link to other posts or their main pages will have their links removed. This eliminates confusion for others who are looking for ideas on how to give.

  • Please do not link to giveaways, contests, or ads.

  • Feel free to use the image above in your post. It's not mandatory, but you're welcome to it!

If you're not a blogger, you can participate too! Simply click the comments link below this post, and leave your ideas there. I would love to hear from you!

If you have any questions about A Time to Give, please feel free to contact me at I look forward to being inspired by your ideas on giving! And stop back each Thursday for a new edition of A Time to Give.


Amy Rainey said...

Jennifer, I have the same problem. Although frugal living does allow me to give much more, there is still a limit. It reminds me of the story of the boy picking up starfish on the beach and throwing them back in the water. A man asks him why he is even trying because there are thousands of starfish on the beach and he can't possible save enough of them to make a difference. The boy's response was to throw another starfish into the water and say "It made a difference to that one."

tanng1 said...

Publix is selling Santa Dollars. They charge $2.50 for each one. The buyer of the Santa Dollar gets a valid $1 with a picture of santa "stickered on" over President Washington. It comes in a cute folder, too. The other $1.50 goes to 4 different children's charities. I bought a Santa Dollar when I was at Publix last week (I just spent the dollar because I don't have a child who would appreciate the stocking stuffer yet). I am also trying to give at registers in CVS (St. Jude's Children's hospital) or other stores when I get a chance. I also try to give to the Salvation Army red buckets. It's not much, but I do what I can!