I was sitting in bed last night waiting for an episode of “Law and Order” (my favorite show) to come on while reading my emails. One email in particular stood out from a good friend of mine who fought breast cancer and won. In her email she explained how, for the first time since her battle, she would be participating in the Avon 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer and raising money for her cause. It made me think back to three years ago when my whole view on these types of donations was changed forever.
I never really stopped to think about what these donations meant to the people asking for them. That was until one of my best friend’s son got Leukemia. Freak’n Leukemia! He was diagnosed in early summer of 2012. One of our close friends put a team together for the local Light The Night Walk, which takes place in October every year. It is a walk to raise money for research to fight childhood cancer, to show support to the families fighting the disease, and to memorialize those lost in the fight. Participating in this event was just one more way to show support to our friend, to Noah’s best buddy, to others fighting this battle whom we now had such an heart wrenching awareness of. It wasn’t just about walking together as a team, we wanted to raise as much money as we could. We felt like it was our way of doing something, of helping in a tangible way. And it was.
There is also another very important piece to this. When you make a donation to a cause that is important to a friend or loved one, whatever the amount, you are saying “I believe in you. I stand behind you in your fight. WOW how great it is that you are turning a terrible situation into a way to help others”. OK, I know that seems like a lot to say by just entering an amount into the computer, but I bet if you stopped to ask that people receiving the donation will say.
In my giving journey, I’ve learned that whatever your donation is, matters, whether it’s $1, $5, $100 or $10,000. When you click on that button to give, the amount isn’t what the person on the other end sees. They see someone who wants to help them and recognizes what they have been through. And that realization has no price.
However, when we get requests for donations, there is a certain struggle that we find ourselves in. After entering our credit card information, we struggle to decide an appropriate amount to give, thinking to ourselves “What IS appropriate? Am I being cheap? Should I be more generous?”. Finally, we close our eyes, click the submit button, and feel as though our money has been sent into an abyss. But trust me, it hasn’t.
By not deleting these requests, and taking the time to participate, you are making a difference in the life of others. It’s an easy way to give back. Even though it may not be your cause or your charity, it is another person’s cause, another person’s charity (and sometimes we should think about people other than ourselves, right?). So, going forward, will you click “donate”?