Everyday Generosity

If you are remotely familiar with non-profits, you likely know that we depend on the generosity of people to accomplish our goals.  What you often hear about are fundraising banquet dinners, a large donation from a well-to-do individual or some kind of golf tournament that will raise money for a cause.

But let’s step outside of the realm of money for a moment and consider how generosity can be shown by a person offering another valuable resource – time. Just a few examples I’ve seen around here recently:

Every week Tim Sherrod gets up before work to help grow food in our community garden.

After teaching Institute classes during the day, Shaun Galford volunteers his time to teach a neighborhood Bible study in the evenings each week. 

Laura Foster volunteers her time and skills to teach dance to young girls in our neighborhood.

Shaun Galford volunteers to teach a Bible class to adults in our neighborhood late at night at a time when they are free from work and other responsibilities.    

The generosity of volunteers is what makes our garden grow, literally. Denise Bennecker not only manages our kitchen for the school lunch program, she is also involved in growing the food in our garden and landscaping around our property. 

Denise Bennecker volunteers her time to help manage the kitchen for our academy students’ lunches.

Our Institute students regularly volunteer to assist those in need in our neighborhood with cleaning, yard maintenance, etc.  

Moms take time to cook extra food and deliver to neighbors who need some extra assistance that day with a meal.

Institute student Amanda Byrd does a service to elderly neighbors by cleaning their home. 

These are a variety of examples that demonstrate how we as an organization are able to both operate on the day-to-day and also offer services to those who need it most. This too is generosity. People aren't giving because they have an abundance of free time or are getting some kind of certification for logging their hours.  On the contrary, they give sacrificially and may have to stay up later or get up earlier to finish other responsibilities.

They do it because they believe in Jesus who we see tirelessly practicing generosity to those who need it most.  They recognize, with the Apostle Paul, what we seem to only make known around Christmas, that “it is more blessed to give than receive.”

So, while we are incredibly grateful for the generous donations we receive every month, we are also incredibly thankful for everyone in our midst who gives of their time and skills to meet needs and push our efforts forward.

So you may not see us hosting a golf tournament anytime soon, but you can come by and visit. And what you’ll likely see if you hang around a short time is a bunch of people going above and beyond their responsibilities to do things that we couldn’t otherwise do, without people giving so generously.

I encourage you, recognize that God’s greatest resource is you.  Because once you believe that and enact it, you will find God meeting you on the other side of being generous with your time, skills and resources.