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Not Sure How to Give Back? Start with Compassion.

Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of need in this world. It can be overwhelming to say the least. We see it on a daily basis. It’s on the news, radio and everywhere that you look. The trick is to not let the overwhelming nature of the whole stop you from doing your part to make the world a better place.

So how do you honor your intention to Give Back if you can’t in that moment? First and foremost, acknowledge your intention to Give Back. That’s the perfect starting point. Then let go of whatever guilt you may have because you can’t Give Back in the way that you want at that moment. Lastly, remain open to other ways that you can Give Back that may not be what you’d originally planned, but still allow you to connect with the person in need.

I experienced this recently myself last week.

I was sitting on the subway heading to work when a young man and his girlfriend got onto the train. They slowly walked up and down the subway car sharing their story and asking for money or food. He had a very simple request of $11.00 to get dinner for themselves and a drink. It broke my heart.

I, of course, wanted to help, only, I didn’t have any cash on me and I didn’t have any food. It’s interesting how in that moment you feel helpless. Then I remembered that Giving Back isn’t always so black and white. I am grateful for the ability to see the “grey” areas in Giving Back.

I sat there and pondered all of the ways that I could Give Back that didn’t involve money or food. I knew that often when people are asking for help, people tune them out as they go about their commute, so I sat up and listened in earnest to their story. I made eye contact to let them know that I was really “seeing” them and then I made sure to let them know that I didn’t have anything but that I wished them the best.

You see, one of the easiest ways to Give Back is to simply show compassion. I may not know what it’s like to be on the street but I know what it feels like to ask for help and not be sure if it’s going to come.

I may not know what it’s like to have to ask for money on a train but I do know what hunger feels like.

Compassion and empathy are simple ways to Give Back when you think that there’s nothing else that you can do.

They are a wonderful reminder that there are always ways to Give Back.

Gail Anderson, CGO (Chief Giving Officer) Giving Back With Gail

Gentle Reminder:

My newest segment on the Instagram page is called “Why I Give Back Wednesdays”. Each week, a new person will be highlighted as they tell us why they Give Back. I need your help to move it forward. If you’d like to share why you Give Back, please send a video 60 seconds or less to Secondly, please fill out the attached Google form so that I have permission to use your video.

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