This is Day #5 of Money Triage, a special 5-day series about dealing with financial uncertainty. Today’s post is about how to be a giving person while in the midst of dealing with a money crisis.
Taking Care of #1
Can I be honest with you? A few weeks ago, I got into a very self-centered kind of frenzy as I tried to build up the recommended two weeks of quarantine food and supplies. My heart raced for a few days as I went from store to store trying to find essentials like toilet paper and ingredients for meals. The bare shelves at some of the stores put me in a mindset of scarcity, and the nightly TV news and rumors of lockdowns only made my self-focus worse.
The last thing on my mind was helping anyone else; I was too busy trying to build up my own inventory at my own castle.
When I finally slowed down long enough to be still, reflect, pray, and breathe, I was disappointed in my initial response and knew this was not how I wanted to respond to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis.
On her podcast this week Emily P. Freeman said, “This is all new, and we are all beginners at navigating a global pandemic….Give yourself a break, and remember there are things here at play that you’ve never had to process before.” I appreciated her grace-filled reminder that we are all learning as we go.
Giving When Needs are Great
As I write this, it’s March 27, 2020 and we are only a couple of weeks into the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis in the U.S.
Already, the needs around us are great. Our favorite nonprofits need money to continue their good work. Our churches and mental health institutions need support. Hospitals and health workers need protective gear. Animal shelters need money. The list of needs is endless.
At the same time, many of us are facing our own financial challenges like job losses, reductions in income, business closures and volatile investment markets.
Yet all around us, people are still finding ways to give.
10 Ways to Give When You Don’t Have Extra Money
Here are some ways we can be generous, even during times of financial uncertainty.
- Share food and supplies.
- Give the gift of time and energy – raking leaves or shoveling snow, for instance.
- Send someone a handwritten letter or thank you card.
- Give away clothes you no longer wear.
- Reach out to someone who might be lonely.
- Cook double and deliver a meal to a busy friend.
- Offer to pick things up at the store for someone.
- Share a skill, such as sewing a clothing repair or helping someone with a DIY project.
- Leave a positive review online for someone who’s doing a good job. Or take a few minutes to review your favorite author’s book.
- Give blood or plasma at your local blood bank.
Generosity During a Pandemic
Here are some examples I’ve seen recently of amazing giving in my own neighborhood:
- People are setting up food banks.
- People are donating blood.
- People are sewing face masks.
- People are sharing their rationed food and toilet paper.
- People are donating protective gloves, masks and other gear for health workers.
People are giving money generously, too; our state’s Help Colorado Now relief fund has already taken in $7.5 million.
I’m no theologian or expert on spiritual matters, but what I’ve found is that if I am willing, if I can get out of my own head, and if I pray that God will show me needs and ways I can help, He always provides a way to give.
The great paradoxical mystery is that the more we give, the greater abundance we experience. We receive more, and then we can give away even more. In the process of sharing with others, we also feel happier.
Perhaps generosity is at the heart of how we will ultimately get ourselves out of this mess. All of the COVID-19 best-case scenarios rely on humans working together and helping each other. If we each give and do what we can, the outcome will be so much better for all of us.
How About You?
Have you found a way to help during this crisis? What examples of generosity have you seen in your community? I welcome your thoughts in the Comments below or over at the Money Diet Group.
As this 5-day series winds down, I hope you are staying safe, healthy and well. I promise we will lock arms and continue sharing ideas and information to support each other in the days ahead.
If you’re on Pinterest, here’s a handy pin to save or share this post:
Grateful thanks to SeniorPlanning.org for the use of the piggy bank image above.