27 August 2008

[talk: The BIG GIVE - Challenge One]

I'm a part of a group called the "Happy Housewives 12". We're a group of 12 women who meet once a month, and for a cost of $20 per event there is an activity (essentially $10 per person) and a draw for $120 (12x the remaining $10) to one woman who must spend the cash on herself. The woman who's name is drawn, plans the next month's activity. We've done "the Amazing Race", bowling, a fashion show, flower arranging, card making, a self defense class, a fitness class and more. And last night it was K's turn.

We all met in a designated shopping mall parking lot and were split into 2 teams. Each team had a vehicle, a video camera and an envelope with $60.00. The instructions were simple: This was the BIGGEST GIVE and we had to give the $60 away. The team with the most creativity and best results would win. We had 1 hour to be back at K's house.
We were PUMPED!

Our team debated what would be the best thing to do. After a few ideas were mulled over, we decided to make our first stop "Ricky's Restaurant".

We knew that it had a Senior's menu, and maybe there was a couple that we could bless and pay for their meal. After staking out the restaurant and having the hostess and manager give us their opinions, we decided on the table of 4 seniors - one of which was disabled. I was nominated to give the money, so I went up to the table and explained who I was. I said I was with a group who was challenged to bless someone that evening, and that we had chosen them. The one elderly lady's eyes turned red with emotion and the one man said, "Well, God bless you too - but we are not in need. We think that maybe you should give it to the table over there." and he pointed to a table where an elderly, obese man sat with two tired looking teenagers.

I was touched that this first man though enough of what we were doing, to pass on the blessing - so, in essence, we had already touched 4 people (plus the 2 staff) and now we were going to bless 3 more people - and we hadn't even spent any money yet.

I walked over to this man, and his hands were covered in sores and his aging teeth were broken and yellow. Once again, I gave the little speech and he looked around and said, "What am I on??" to which I assured him there were no t.v. cameras anywhere *grin*. He began to cry and said he couldn't possibly take the money, so I asked if I could have a hug to which he agreed. I said, "If you give me a hug, I have to give you the money." and he smiled. I handed him $30 and he was just so overwhelmed and shaking his head in disbelief. THIRTY DOLLARS. Such a small gift for such a great feeling.
Our group went back to our vehicle and documented the story on the video camera and went to our next stop: Walmart. We decided to stalk the checkout counters and help out a couple of different people with $15. We chose a young couple with two small children and a bill of $75. Once again, we explained who we were and that we chose them to bless ... it was a small gift, but could we put it towards their bill. The girl looked at us and said, "Do I have to give you something?" How sad - that our society's first thought is that by us being generous, we want something from them. Now-a-days, no good deed isn't without some sort of underlining deal. We assured her it was a gift, and she gave us a heart felt, "Thank you!!".

The last family chosen was a woman with her two teenage children. She had tins and tins of canned food on the belt, and we thought that she could use some help. So, one of the girls on the team did the "speech" and blessed this women with our last $15. It was so lovely - and the lady asked for our team member's "card"!! SO FUNNY - to which our friend replied, "I don't have a card."
With our mission complete, we made our way back to K's house, met back with the other team, and shared our stories while the 2 judges decided who won. Well - we all did *grin*. And we pointed out that because of K's ideas we were able to touch almost 30 people's lives, including our own. And we were challenged at how easy it was to give - it didn't have to be big.
We've all done it, haven't we. Given a 2for1 coupon to the couple in the line who needs it, paid the last $2.50 in groceries when the elderly man was short on cash, given a larger tip to a waitress who was tired and spent.
My challenge to you is this: in the next 24 hours - do SOMETHING for someone that you don't know. Small or big - and then come back here and comment - let us know what YOU did for someone. Be creative or be logical. Maybe it's lending your cell phone to someone in the phone line at the mall, or donating a can of soup to the food bank ... or maybe giving a bouquet of flowers to the lady who lives across the street. Do something you wouldn't normally do.
I'm going to talk to my husband about having this a part of our monthly budget. Where every month, we will do something for someone just because it's the right thing to do - not because we get a tax break or something in return. And it's not just about the poor or the down-and-out. Everyone could use a blessing, so I challenge you to be creative in giving.
Put a link to this blog and have it as a challenge to as many who want to be involved! Let's do something GREAT!
Ok. GO!! And report back!!
Deadline is Friday at noon!


Lisa B. said...

Hey girl! This is a fantastic idea. We're heading out of town but I will do it when I get back - regardless of the deadline. I'll let you know the details next week.


Still Enjoying the Journey said...

You rock Tawn! Not only do you guys have incredible ideas ... but you have an amazing way of communicating and motivating!

Jenn VH said...

Hi Tania;
I hadn't read your blog before, but yesterday morning I was at IGA and my groceries moved ahead to a senior lady in front while I was still back a bit with my kids. I jokingly said, "I guess you get to pay for my groceries too!" , and she said, "I don't think so!" She then commented to the cashier how she was frustrated that the coffee window was closed and that she had to pay at the checkout, to which I replied, "No you don't because I'm paying for your coffee" She tried to refuse but I nudged her ahead and told the cashier to ring it in with my groceries. She said thank you and then moved along on her way. The funny thing is, I already had picked up and was buying some milk for a friend I was going to see later that morning that had mentioned on the phone earlier that she had run out. Not much, but it meant something to both of them and it felt great to give. I'm going to try and continue to do this whenever I see an opportunity--take the challenge! As the cashier said after the lady left, "That sure was nice of you. If we all did that, what a better world we'd live in!"
Blessings to you,

Tawn said...

thanks for the encouragement everyone ... Lisa, you & S were missed at HH12. Wish you could both be there still ...