When You Give A Little, You Get A Lot

“If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” ~Bob Hope

Charity begins at home. We’ve all heard that one. Isn’t it in the Bible? Or maybe it just should be. I like helping others, but if it’s monetary, I like it even better knowing that all of my money is helping someone rather than 80% going to some executive’s salary of the organization or to a bonus of the “fat cat” of the business. Know what I’m talking about? How many of you have really done your research on these companies to know exactly how much of your donation is actually going to the said cause in which you support? In all honesty, I haven’t done my research, so I don’t have the answers either. But in the last few years, I’ve gotten to the point that I like to see the faces of the people I help. Not necessarily a one on one connection. I just mean I like to support local ministries that I know the money is being invested on the needs of people in my community.

I have told you all about my elderly friend. I am becoming more and more aware of the plight of the elderly. Well, Saturday I woke up thinking that I really wanted to just have a stay at home pajama day. I was not going to get dressed; heck, I wasn’t even going to take a shower. I was going to read and write (and put off the taxes!) all day and into the night. As noon began to stare me down, “the voice” told me to stop being self centered and lazy, to just get up off my fat butt and call Chris to see if she needed anything. Bless her heart, she started crying when she found out it was me on the other end of the phone. She needed to do her laundry and was unable to go up and down the steps to go to the laundry. She didn’t want to call anyone and put them out. She had been crying out to God and praying that someone would help her.

Of course, I agreed to help her. I didn’t even grab a shower but just threw on my clothes and headed out. I first went to the store to pick up the few things she needed. Then, I went over to her apartment. I was going to take her laundry back to my house, but I could see she was really depressed, so I agreed to do her laundry on the premises of the apartment complex and spend the time while the clothes were washing and drying with Chris.

Have you ever considered how frustrating and depressing it must be to be physically unable to do the things you once did and have to ask for help and then depend on someone to do those things for you in their time? I can’t even begin to imagine. But I knew my friend needed me, and by golly, I was not going to let her down. We had a lovely afternoon of tea, talking, laughter, and even a couple of shots of Amaretto. I helped her do a few simple things like flipping her mattress and changing the sheets on her bed.

I wanted to clean Chris’ apartment for her, but we have a problem with that. The problem is that she won’t let me do it unless I agree to let her pay me for it, and I refuse to accept any money from her because I know that her income is fixed. She is currently paying almost $900 a month for rent. The management will put a washer and dryer in her apartment for about an additional $70, but it would only cost her about half of that to do it on the premises. So instead, I am going to pick up her laundry every week and do it at my house and return it to her the next day. I’m not quite sure how to get her to relent in allowing me to clean for her.

She was ever so grateful, but I knew she was still feeling down. So, Sunday I was going to have that pajama day that I had been wanting but while I was drinking my coffee, I had a great idea. I decided that I was going to surprise my friend. I thought her birthday was in May, but I wasn’t sure. She never tells her age and isn’t one to make a big deal over her birthday. I got a shower and then went shopping. I bought Chris a birthday cake, and flowers. I purchased her a pair of pants and a blouse and placed them in a gift bag with a card that read: Happy Birthday, Chris. We know this isn’t your REAL birthday, but want you to know that we love you every day as if it is your birthday! I tapped the secret knock on her door to let her know it was a friend or relative. Chris was surprised to see me at her door and down right shocked that I came bearing a birthday party. She said, “You are one crazy woman, but you have made my day!”. I even sang to her. We had cake and tea. She felt special, and I felt good for making her feel that way.

I have always been drawn to elderly people. I have always gone out of my way to try to help them. I honestly am not claiming to know the facts of what type of services that are offered to aid our senior citizens who don’t drive or have family member to do for them. But I imagine that if we really looked around there are probably many who are doing without or are lonely or just need a helping hand. So, I am challenging you to adopt an elderly person into your life. I’m not asking you to go spend your life savings on them. I’m asking you to donate a little of your time to a lonely senior. Call a grandparent if you have one. Go visit a nursing home. Ask your local church for suggestions of a senior that doesn’t have family nearby. There is so much you can offer with just time and a little energy. Trust me, the rewards are phenomenal . Not just for the senior. You’ll receive ten fold in your heart what you’ve put out! Now, go out there and make a difference.

65 thoughts on “When You Give A Little, You Get A Lot

  1. You make me SO proud to be your sister. You have such a loveing and giving heart. You deserve every good thing in life and Chris is blessed to have a friend like you. I love you so much

  2. Hey Gal! You are so right! The elderly appreciate a gift of time much more than material things. They are very proud people and hate charity. It’s nice to know that someone our age is recognizing this and putting a voice to it.

    • I know we all struggle to make time to do the things we want, but a little time is all they need. And to think of all they have contributed to others in their lifetimes, who are we to deny them our time?

  3. I know you don’t want to hear this, but you are an Angel, SuziCate! Since working in HS in a nursing home, I have such a special place in my heart for the elderly. They are so marginalized, and if caring family isn’t around, it’s so sad. You’ve obviously brightened this woman’s life in practical and emotional ways. Thank goodness for people like you; I hope someone like that is around when I’m old!!

    • You are sweet, Maureen. I do it because she needs it, and it’s funny that sometimes, she’s just what I need to put life in perspective. My sons joke me to not worry that they’ll put me in the nicest nursing home money can buy…gotta love em’!!!!

  4. You are amazing Suzicate! And I’m sure that Chris feels the same way! The elderly can enrich our lives in so many ways. And you are completely right about the charity thing. You have to be very very careful.

    You make the world a better place!

    ♥Spot

  5. OMG…you have no idea how much this post touched me because I too have always had a soft spot in my heart for the elderly.

    ..”Have you ever considered how frustrating and depressing it must be to be physically unable to do the things you once did and have to ask for help and then depend on someone to do those things for you in their time? I can’t even begin to imagine”…

    Yes I have. And I too can’t imagine.

    The time I spent living in Japan taught me the most about caring, loving, and respecting our elders. They truly believe that as someone grows older, they become more valuable.

    And it’s true!

    Bless you, SC!

    X

  6. You know what I love about your post? It gives me hope and happiness to know that there are still people in the world that care and are more than willing to give their time and resources to help someone else in need. (I am crying. I am an emotional mess today. LoL In a good way!) Okay, you’re the best.

    M.

  7. This post touched the heart of me. It seems that we are made of the same mold, and I don’t even know you. Chris is extremely blessed, and you have a wonderful gift of encouragement and discernment from God. What’s even more amazing is that you listen to it and do something about it. That’s how we leave our marks on the world, one person at at time. Just doing what we see and feel right where we are. Sure some people get more accolades in life or are more “seen”, but I find the everyday touching those around us fills my heart with so much joy.

    This post reminds of something I did last week. I was out, and a friend of mine came to mind. I called her, and she was sick. It was raining terribly at the time. I went to the drug store and made her a get well package..cold medicine, chicken noodle soup, gatorade, tissues, a card, and small stuffed animal. She was so moved.

    Keep it going girl!!

    • That was so sweet doing that for your friend. Love and friendship are important in life. I just try to live through my heart because that is when I feel complete. Thank you so much for your kind words.

  8. You can actually learn so much just by sitting and listening to an elderly person, when I was working I really enjoyed listening to my elderly customers and most of them really appreciated someone coming by their home, yes elderly people are lonely and frustrated and it’s up to us to help them out, I’m proud of you for helping your friend out because I know that even the sound of your voice on the phone made her day better.

  9. Aww, SuziCate … I know what you mean about doing special things for other people. Not the kind anyone else would ever really find out about, but just little things, something shared just between you and that person you happened to think of. They make such a huge difference.

  10. I’m not sure if it is the same in VA, but here in the Houston area, if you dial 2-1-1, you will get the United Way hotline. It sounds like your friend Chris might qualify for some senior services. If she calls the United Way, they can get a social worker to evaluate her needs and determine if there are any service organizations in that community that might help to meet those needs. The United Way is an amazing network of services organizations and here in Houston the senior care and senior service organizations are truly wonderful. Blessings to you!!

    • She would never, ever do that. She is too proud. She has some nephews nearby who help her out….she just doesn’t like to call on them if she has options, and as she says it’s nice to have a female to do some things with and for her.

  11. Synchronicity?! i had to look this up. Tis true it seems in the Jungian sense.
    Maybe I should have thought longer about the brilliant bowl, huh. I did put it off for several days.

    good post. Your a saint.

  12. “Have you ever considered how frustrating and depressing it must be to be physically unable to do the things you once did and have to ask for help and then depend on someone to do those things for you in their time?”

    This is a biggie here, I have actually been here myself, after a couple minor strokes a few years back I found myself needing help getting out of bed and needing to ask the boys to do things I always have done, waiting for someone to do something for you seems to take an eternity when you arethe one asking and waiting, I am happy to be doing most for myself now but my point is it is awful hard to ask for help when you never needed it before, embarassing, frustrating, depressing not sure which but I enjoy helping more than being helped.

    • I’d rather helped than be helped. After having surgery, I experienced having my husband and sons take care of things I needed. They were so good it, but I just eally wanted to do things myself.

  13. I went to a conference once where the speaker said “never suppress a good thought.” I liked that. Since then, if a service opportunity pops into my mind, I try to quickly follow through. Quickly because if I don’t, I will forget it.

    You did exactly what I am trying to do. How amazing is it to be a tool in God’s hands? Serving someone who prayed you over? Just wonderful.

    The world needs more of you, Suzicate. (Starting with me!)

  14. I’ve been thinking of this so much lately. With so many seniors in my life, I see that the aging process is apparently multi-dimensional. The wisdom one gains through experience is countered by great humility…one looses independence, has to depend on others for help and is often found scared of what circumstances lay ahead limiting mobility and security. I hope all of us can be not only sympathetic but helpful toward our elders while we are still young. …And may others have the compassion to help when we’ve reached that great abyss of age as well.

  15. You are doing a very good thing. I see so many elderly people where I live having to do their errands by themselves and struggling to walk the hills of San Francisco.

    I don’t think we respect our elders enough. One day if we are lucky, we will be elders too.

  16. I love the stories of you and Chris! How true about service and listening to our heart callings to do good deeds not just monetary contributions but so much more meaningful work.

    You are making waves of movement and changing lives. I’m happy you found each other and can share inspiration to us.

  17. I feel all warm inside. How wonderful you are. I cannot imagine what it will be like one day to not be able to do the simplest tasks I currently take for granted. Most of my older relative died when I was very young – too young to understand, but I had one great uncle who passed away about 5 years ago now. It was troubling to watch him struggle to remain “normal.” He was a proud military man and hated he needed help. My parents did an amazing job of keeping him active and entertained and I am so glad I did not miss out on the experience either. His son finally made the decision to put him in a nursing home…when we came to get him that am to leave…he was dead…it was his worse nightmare and he obviously was not going to let is happen.

    This story really makes me think…we have many elderly people in our town and I am sure they would love a visit.

  18. Aww, I loved this post. Chris reminded me of my Gram who was too proud to accept help from anyone. She had really bad arthritis and would carry her laundry basket down to the cellar, one step at a time and it would take her twenty minutes to get down the stairs. Good for you for being such a great friend!

  19. Okay, I just did a google search of the nursing homes in my area and I am ashamed to say there is one just 2 miles from me. I’m going to go check it out this weekend.

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