Over the next year, I’m going to share 100 ways to give. The 100 days won’t be in a row, but will be over the entire year. Cora taught me so much about giving, being there for people and loving each other. Most of these ways to give will use little to no money. See previous posts in this series here.
I feel like this series is turning into an ode to my husband. And rightfully so, he’s the most giving person I know, but number 3 on my 100 ways to give is also inspired by him. (You can read my number two way to give, inspired by him as well here.)
When no one is looking, do you go the extra mile to do the right thing?
Do you pick the harder path, even if there is no personal reward, and no one watches you travel it?
My husband owns and operates a hauling business. We always try to recycle/reuse/donate items before throwing in the landfill, so we go through anything that isn’t straight trash.
Last week we picked up some boxes and just in the last few days my husband got to the work of sorting them. Inside one he found piles of family photographs.
It’s been a busy few weeks, and I actually took the call from the customer while multi-tasking. I threw the customer’s address in the GPS and sent my brother-in-law off to get the items.
We couldn’t remember where we’d gotten them. All of us agreed we couldn’t toss out the pictures with out making some sort of effort to find their owner, but my husband pushed us to remember where they came from. He asked us several times over the last few days until I remembered that I’d first jotted the address in an email I planned to sent to him and found the address in a draft email. There was no name or number, but we did a reverse search and found a name and mailed off a letter today explaining the situation.
My husband says that if the photographs were thrown out unintentionally, he’ll make the 30 mile trip to drop them off as soon as the people contact us, because it’s the right thing to do.
A few weeks after Cora died, we were both shopping at a dollar store. We were there because we were flat broke. We turned. the corner and on the floor sat several hundred dollar bills in a booklet with no personal information.
We sure could have used the cash. No one would have known, but we didn’t hesitate. We scooped it up and brought it to the cashier. We asked her to put it in her safe, and took her name so we could hope it wasn’t pocketed. We hung out a few moments to watch her run it to the back.
No one would have known if we would have taken that money.
But taking it was the wrong thing to do.
The people who threw out those photos probably don’t even realize. They might not for months and might not ever. It would have been easy to toss them out.
It’s the ultimate way to give. Treat others like you’d like to be treated, even when no one is watching.
You can read previous posts in this series here.