The Joy of Giving

This is the final week of my first fundraising drive, and I can’t resist reflecting on the journey so far. I try to approach most things in life as experiments: adventures to be enjoyed and learned from. This experiment has taught me an important lesson about giving.

Gore Lake August 2008

The irony of running for charity is you don’t necessarily have to give anything. Usually you solicit donations from friends and family. You might approach your employer to find out if they will match donations, or ask a local business if they would like to help with a fundraising event. In some cases, if the results don’t add up to the pledge, you may have to actually give the difference. But, essentially, you “fundraise” on top of keeping up with your training. In other words, running for charity is a commitment to fundraising, not necessarily to giving.

This was my first experience fundraising for charity. Now that I was the one asking for donations, something unexpected happened. I realized if I wanted others to give to my cause, maybe I should try being the one giving to other peoples’ causes. This fit well with my original goal to personally give more. So I started something called “Give More Monday.” On twitter all you have to do to start something is put a # sign in front of it. (#GiveMoreMonday) That’s how you make what’s called a hashtag.

Twitter craziness aside, what does that mean? I’m making all kinds of amazing new runner friends on twitter, and several are fundraising for charity. So, I choose one each week and make a donation and encourage all my friends do the same.

I’m great at finding lots of excuses not to give. I’m unsure all the money will be used wisely. I already give money to my church, and sponsor a child through World Vision. But something amazing happens when you forget about all the reasons not to give more and try it anyway. You forget about yourself. You forget about the things you don’t have. You forget about the things you want. You forget about the promotion you want. You forget about the job you want. You realize how blessed you really are. You feel rich because your values change, even if only slightly and temporarily. I believe this is because we were created with similar characteristics as our creator. Namely, God is giving. The events behind the celebration of Easter weekend remind us just how giving Christ really is.

That’s what I plan to do with raceforothers.com for most of the year. Every week I hope to find someone’s charity to give to and tell you about it. I plan to continue blogging as well. My goal with the blog is just to share something interesting and maybe helpful. I also plan to share my adventures (or misadventures) as I hopefully race crazier and crazier stuff. And once or twice a year, I will fundraise for charities I really believe in. Please join me and experience the joy of giving as we race for others.

…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

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  • Zach

    I just found your new blog. Sounds awesome! Looking forward to see what is to come of it.