photo by Christian Stahl via Unsplash
Editor's Note: Good Neighbor
by stephanie toews
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill
The other night, I had a sweets craving and decided to make the most delicious peanut butter chocolate bars. Amid my mixing, measuring, and mess-making, I realized we were out of eggs. Thankfully, we have the most wonderful neighbors, and my daughter ran across the street to grab some from them; chocolate craving crisis averted! Of course, we made up a plate to share with them along with a note including the line like a good neighbor, a fun thing our State Farm agent neighbor quoted to us the first time we borrowed a stick of butter.
Though everyone’s definition of a good neighbor is likely different, we can probably all agree, giving generously certainly falls under this heading. For example, giving of our time to listen and chat or helping out with a yard or home project, giving of our resources such as groceries, tools, or finances, or sharing our talents and expertise in areas where help or service are needed. Each of us has much to give from the abundance of our own blessings, and there are needs everywhere around us.
We all carry around hard and heavy things; everyone is struggling in some way. But, in days when our hearts are heavy and anxious with uncertainty, one thing is sure- the extraordinary takes place when our focus shifts from inward angst to outward generosity. We often benefit far more than the recipients of our contributions. That's what our Gracious Givers issue is all about, giving back generously to our neighbors (in the broadest sense of the word) out of the gratitude in our hearts for what we’ve been given.
Our non-profit guide is filled with local organizations serving our community and abundant opportunities to support them financially or by volunteering our time. We highlight one fabulous organization and share the stories of a couple of volunteers (givers) impacted as much as (if not more than) the recipients of their gifts of time. Another organization makes a notable impact on families in need this time of year by giving a Christmas tree and ornaments representing much more than holiday décor.
While this time of year tends to get us thinking more about being generous, there are year-round opportunities to do so. This can come in the form of a thank you to the grocery clerk who keeps showing up to serve their community, time volunteering each week with youth to provide them with a safe and healthy example of an adult leader, or financial support for an organization you're passionate about. No matter what form it takes, allow your life to be marked by one of generosity.
Originally printed in the November 2021 issue of Simply Local Magazine
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