Charity Is Not A Bad Word

At first I was hesitant to use the word charity. Sometimes charity can have a bad connotation. I kept thinking of the phrase, “I’m not a charity case.” But, the truth is that we all need help at some point in our lives. I think it takes someone brave to stand up and ask for help. A beautiful thing often happens when someone is vulnerable enough to accept help; they pay it forward when they are able to. Many of the organizations that we support talk about giving a hand up, not a handout. This empowers people to be the giver when the time comes.

When a friend of mine told me about an organization to feature on Charity Run, she shared with me that they helped her out in a time of need a few years ago, and now she gives to them whenever she can.

When I volunteered to sort clothes for a local organization, I was told that one of the other volunteers is a client there and since she can’t pay for the clothes, she gives back in a way that she can - by volunteering every Saturday. And she’s been doing it for the past 3 years.

When I recently attended a fundraising event for one of the organizations that we have featured, I met a woman that runs a meaningful ministry and I asked her how she heard about the organization that we were supporting that night. She told me that she was a client there 14 years ago. I did not expect to hear that.

When my friend posted this on Instagram the week before Thanksgiving – I thought, “Yes! This is what it’s all about.”

“Shopping for Thanksgiving food boxes made me especially emotional this year. I prayed for the families that will receive these boxes and their contents. I was raised by a single mother and money never stretched as far as it should. My family was the recipient of similar such boxes. Today, I considered who donated those boxes. Did they stretch their budget to give back to their community? Because of their willingness to give, my family will always give. We will fill Thanksgiving boxes, we will donate our time, we will buy presents. And I will do it all in an effort to teach my boys that you give back. You do it for those families that can't make it work. You do it for the mother who cries over bills and makes sacrifices. You do it because you can.”

Charity is not a bad word. Charity is an empowering word.

Jill Jonassen