Early in March, I asked people if they would donate money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. I would provide the hair if others could help with the funds. I dedicated this effort to Carly, the daughter of a good friend, Tracy, who was diagnosed with leukemia a few years ago.
Here is an update on the event. First, thanks to your generosity, I raised nearly $1400 for the foundation. That is the amount friends and family gave in ONE WEEK! Second, the event exceeded its goal of $65K by reaching nearly $125K! This during a recession! Incredible. Finally, Illinois has raised over $1M since the beginning of the year. Thank you to all who helped.
There have been non-monetary benefits of this event as well. One friend told me that her 8 year-old daughter was so touched to learn that children like Carly were sick that she went to her bedroom and returned with her piggy bank. Her mom asked, “How much do you want to give?”
Her daughter said, “All of it.”
Every time the little girl received cash gifts, most went to the bank, some went to church, and the rest went into her spending bank, that special short-term bank where she could cash-out to buy anything that caught her eye. She had been saving in that bank for 8 years, and nothing had ever caught her eye before. But when the story of Carly touched her heart, she responded by giving all. Her gift was the Widow’s mites.
Another non-monetary benefit was that Carly and her family attended the event. And there was a room full of 180 men and women who were shaving their heads in solidarity for the young, sick children. Carly must have felt a rush of support and love when she saw a banquet hall full of adults who looked like she had not so long before.
A final and personal benefit of all of this was having my son chose to take part in this event at his school. The Saturday after my event, I marched in the St. Patrick’s Day parade with others in the St. Baldrick’s Foundation group. While I helped carry the banner, my son worked the crowd. He raised over $135. A week later, my son had raised several hundred dollars, much of it a dollar at a time, and he joined the elite group of bald for a cause. What touched my heart so much about his gift was that he had his first real date the day after he shaved his head. That takes courage.
Giving helps the recipient. That’s a no-brainer. But there are many direct and indirect benefits for the giver, too.
What are you giving? What are you getting back as a result?
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I am proud to call you amongst my friends. I can think of no better way to give than of yourself, unselfishly.