Travelling home from a July 4th trip to Redwoods National Park and the California coast, we stopped at a McDonald’s restaurant in Grants Pass, Oregon. As we stood at the counter pondering one of the really critical decisions in life—what size frozen lemonade to order—a woman walked up with an empty cardboard coffee cup. Tim told her she could go in front of us. She said something very quietly to the employee behind the counter as they filled her empty cup. The woman walked back to the table where she was sitting alone.
When she walked away Tim asked me if she said, “I am hungry.” I might have heard something like that. The cashier gave a little nod. We were on our way out the door with our medium sized frozen lemonade and Tim took a detour to the woman’s table. He asked her if she would like a hamburger. She said, “Yes sir. I am very hungry.” He walked to the counter and ordered a hamburger and gave the cashier money. He told the woman they would call her when her burger was ready. She said, “Thank you kind sir.”
Not only did I not consider giving her money or food, but I thought that this must be a scam that she uses to make people give her money. Tim’s kindness is not out of character for him. He is a kind and generous soul who would give the shirt off of his back to help someone, which he has done in the past, but this random act of kindness really touched me.
I have thought about this interaction several times since then. I wondered why giving a hungry person food wasn’t my first instinct? So, I decided to teach myself a lesson in giving.
Could I make giving a new habit? To take it a step further, could I give something away each day for a year? Being a fundraiser has taught me the benefits of personally giving before you ask others for money. But what if I gave with no expectation of anything in return?
Thus was the genesis of the idea of a Giving Challenge. I challenge myself to give something away every day from today, my birthday, to one year from now.
This will be a fun year. I hope you will follow my progress as I share my experiences at www.givingchallenge.blogspot.com