Giving & Lifeboats - A Confession

Giving is easy when the going is light, right? It seems easier to drop that check in the offering plate at church, give to the local Food Bank, drop off a meal at the Salvation Army or give to the Facebook Fundraiser supporting Cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc.  But what happens when the world seems to come to a screeching halt? In a sense 2020 has done just that.

Part of Green Valley’s mission statement is “to serve our community, having a positive impact on our neighbors.” There are many local and national organizations which we love and fully support and give to throughout the year in an effort to help them continue to do the good work they are doing. We also give in an effort to help others learn about these organizations so that they too can decide to support them and their work. While we encourage others to give, we must admit that this year we have not fully embraced the “giving” that we encourage so often. It seems that in a year that has been so trying that we would all lean in a little closer to help our neighbors, our friends, strangers we don’t know and local organizations who rely on their communities; however, it seems that a pandemic & an election year can really make the human population “retreat”. And we are guilty.

The plan we thought we had for 2020 quickly came to a halt in March when we canceled our first live auction. Little did we know, they would all be canceled. As we fumbled around those first two weeks trying to figure out what we would do, we became consumed with figuring out this new plan. Weeks turned into months of new ideas, a new App, new layouts for the galleries, a new warehouse, better parking for handicap spaces and on top of all of that, navigating a looming pandemic and trying to keep our employees and families healthy and safe.

WHEW, it’s been exhausting!

2020 is coming to a close and what do we have to say for ourselves? Did we help the least of these? Almost a whole year later and can we really say that giving was our focus? If we are honest with ourselves...no. Sure, we gave here and there and continued to support, but how deep did that giving go? So many things have changed this year. Our whole way of living life as we once knew it has changed and we don’t know that it will ever return to “normal”; however, in the midst of that, what has not changed is that this world is full of hurting people. People in need of food, supplies, shelter, healthcare, counseling and the list goes on. There are people in our neighborhoods, work places, churches and in the local grocery stores who have stories and burdens that we know nothing about.

If just one person could lend a helping hand, what kind of change could that bring to their world?

We know first-hand that this year has proved its own level of difficulty and we are not here to make you feel bad, but more so to make a confession of our own. In our own lives, we have been tested and quite honestly we’ve felt defeated more times than we can count this year and our focus quickly shifted to, “what about me?” As 2020 comes to a close and we look back, we know that we could have dived deeper into giving. We could’ve spent more time reaching out and asking,

“What can we do?” 

We could have advocated more and funded more but….weren’t we so busy? So consumed by the worry of staying afloat that many of us just wanted to make it to our own lifeboat and when we did, we forgot to throw out the rescue buoy for those left struggling. Or maybe we didn’t forget but we decided, “Hey, I better keep this rescue buoy in case I need it.” (Emphasis on the “I”)

Though we cannot go back and change the script, we certainly can take this as an opportunity to reevaluate our choices, our perspective and our mission. Giving is not simply a feeling but a commitment. A commitment to be there for those in need whether our resources and time are abundant OR we too are heading for that lifeboat.

Giving In 2021

Here is a small compilation of organizations and programs that we support. We share this list only to help bring awareness and give you an opportunity to look into each of these yourself so that maybe you too can lend a hand.

  • Hawassa Hope
  • Holt
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • World Vision
  • Samaritans Purse
  • The Sadie Rose Foundation
  • Young Life
  • Bridgewater Volunteer Rescue Services
  • Brethren Woods
  • Big Brother Big Sisters
  • T off FORE a Cure
  • Second Home
  • Open Doors
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Ava Care
  • Ethos
  • Salvation Army
  • Arc of Harrisonburg
  • Mercy House
  • Bridge of Hope
  • The Chalmers Center
  • Heifer Project

By elizabeth

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