John D. Rockefeller once said: "Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege." And I couldn't agree more.
On Monday, a group of friends and I volunteered our time to pack boxes of food for Thanksgiving. In this dusty, nondescript room, we tossed cans of yams, bags of potatoes and pumpkin pies at one another until we'd filled all the boxes. Then, me and the gaggles of girls (all dykes) loaded up our cars and headed out into the world. We had a list of places we'd go, families that were expecting us with open arms to provide them with the essential ingredients for their Thanksgiving feast, one they wouldn't have had without help.
Most of the low-income people we visited with were very friendly and invited us inside their apartments. One Romanian family gave us apples as a token of thanks; we tried to refuse the fruit, but they insisted, almost as if it would have been insulting to walk away empty-handed. So, we graciously accepted and then split up the fruit amongst the rest of the boxes. One man was eagerly waiting for us on his balcony, even though it was cold and rainy out. The smile on his face as we approached was priceless. In another apartment, it seemed that there were six people living there. Maybe there were. Or maybe there were more.
As I close this morning and bid you a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, I leave you with one more quote and encourage you, too, to give back this holiday season. "I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver." Maya Angelou knew the secret of giving back and now, so do I. Sure, you do it for others so they can taste a little bit of the good life, but you also do it for yourself. Why you ask? Because nothing--I mean nothing--fills you up, and reminds you of the adbundance in your life, like helping someone in need.
Give it a go!