“The reason I chose to give cash over in-kind donations is because cash is the one gift that can become many. Like a seed, when money is planted it blossoms into more than the eye could ever imagine.”
For as long as I can recall, I’ve been a selfless person. Giving has always been one of my favorite things to do. I believe the reason I enjoy giving so much is because I enjoy seeing others’ smile. I feel rewarded when I can encourage or facilitate happiness in someone else’s life. Happiness is contagious and in order for me to be truly happy, I need the people in my world to be happy. I also have a team-oriented mentality. I believe that no one can get far without help and guidance from someone other than themselves. If each individual brings his or her strengths to the table then we all benefit; we all win whatever challenge we face in that moment. Each and every person has strengths, and when he or she shares that strength, it is a gift to the world. A gift to me is like a seed; once planted in soil, it blossoms into a beautiful plant or flower that helps give life to many things around us.
There was a time in my life when I was homeless. I worked about 40-55 hours a week but, with the amount of bills I had, it always seemed like I couldn’t catch up. At one point my bank account had a max of $12.16; no food, no home to call my own, and the distance between that day and the next pay day would depress most people. In my mind, my bank account was low but my spirit remained at an all-time high; I could just feel abundance surrounding me.
My cell phone then turned off and the only way I could communicate was through emailing whenever I got to Wi-Fi. I emailed one of my good friends and explained my situation and I asked for help. I told her my phone was off and this was my only way of communicating with the world for now. Without hesitation, she transferred $100 to my account. She could’ve easily said “let me call the phone company and pay with my card”, but instead she transferred money to me without even asking how much I needed. My cell phone bill was $75 and after I paid it, I had a surplus of $25. That $25 on top of the $12.16 that I already had helped me get food for the week for myself and the friend that let me sleep on the couch at that time.
My friend didn’t know exactly what I needed, but she knew I was in need. Because she was in the place to help, she was able to give me money to help myself and, in return, I helped others.
Since those days, my life is significantly better. I continued to work hard, pay my bills, take care of my friends that helped me and I was rewarded with a promotion. From that promotion came a home with my name on the lease. And eventually, after that home came a new career. Because I continue to live this abundant life, I give to those that are less fortunate and in need. I give to my friends, I donate money to charity and churches, and I give money to the homeless when I can. I’ve always loved giving and now that I am in a position to give, I give cash.
There is nothing that can compare to the face of a person you just gave money to when they ask for it or when they least expect it. Most people have concerns about where their money goes and if it goes to the right place, but those are never concerns of mine because when I know there is a need, money can do more than it can’t. The reason I chose to give cash over in-kind donations is because cash is the one gift that can become many. Like a seed, when money is planted it blossoms into more than the eye could ever imagine.
Paris Jackson, Information Management Specialist for The Center for International Disaster Information