A few months ago, a group of people scheduled a trip to Casa Hogar Bethel Orphanage in Juarez, Mexico. One of the men who was going on the trip came by The Vine to pick up the cereal we collect each month for the children. When he got to the church and saw the amount of cereal our members had provided, he was blown away. He was amazed at just how much cereal, powdered milk & peanut butter had been donated. He said, “There’s got to be three, four hundred dollars worth of cereal,” and I agreed with him. We, then, loaded it all up in his truck and they headed out.

Sometimes, we are amazed by the generosity that people give. But, the amazing thing for me, was that it was no surprise at all. It was something I was used to. We always collect cereal. Our church is always generous in helping that orphanage. It didn’t even dawn on me that was such a big deal because it was such a normal thing. I think that’s where we need to be. What would the world look like if generosity was an every day occurrence? If everyone doing something nice for someone else was normal? And, here’s the kicker, those generous people didn’t expect something back?

We need to start small. Just because you don’t have a million dollars, doesn’t mean you can’t be generous. Have you ever been out somewhere, maybe getting a coffee with your friend and they forgot their wallet? What do you do? Do you pay for them and say, “just pay me back later,” or do you just pay for them? Seriously, the vast majority of us can spare four bucks.

Christmas has been deemed a time of giving, so let’s give, and not expect anything back. And, I don’t mean give so-and-so 16 presents instead of 15. I mean an act of kindness.

A couple years ago, my husband and I went out to dinner for our anniversary. When we finished our meal, the waitress told us it had been taken care of. Wait…what? Taken care of? Jason and I looked around the restaurant. No close friends, no coworkers, we didn’t know anyone on the staff, etc. Just a room full of acquaintances and people we didn’t know. So, who bought our meal? Who knows? But, I’ll ALWAYS remember that.

So, as the commercial says, let’s get “crazy generous.” Slip some money in the Salvation Army’s buckets, buy someone’s coffee in line, pay for a meal for someone you don’t know, take some groceries to a hurting family, donate what you don’t need (your clothes, appliances, furniture, your car) to people who need it desperately, get online and make a donation to a non-profit organization, just do something.

Let’s turn giving into a lifestyle.

-Whitney