Authored by Steven Crandell Published by Huffington Post.
People say philanthropy is only for the rich. This is a lie.
When anyone gives anything with good heart, he or she becomes a philanthropist — a conduit and a catalyst for love.
Thanks to Google, I found an article from 1940 by Corinne Updegraff Wells. She gave a great example of “philanthropy without money.”
Writing for The Rotarian, Wells tells the story of “Mrs. B” who gave her neighbor, a gift of “48 Tuesday afternoons.”
Once a week, except in August when she was away, Mrs. B. took the place of this mother [of three], who could not afford help and so had little opportunity for recreation. She darned stockings, told stories and played games with the youngsters, while the mother had a gloriously free afternoon.
Darning socks may sound old-fashioned, but trusted childcare remains a remarkable — and potentially transforming — gift to frazzled parents.
So, if you think you have nothing to give, think again.
Off the top of my head, here’s an incomplete list of some other things we can give that do not involve money:
(Remember the little drummer boy? He practiced effective philanthropy through percussion.)
And of course, there are the three kinds of money-less philanthropy that create connection from isolation.
The truth is — you don’t have to donate money or give property to practice philanthropy.
When we give of our time or our expertise, we are philanthropists.
When we use our imagination to understand, accept and include difference, we are philanthropists.
When we refuse to give up on our values, our family, our friends, our neighbors, our communities, our world — we are philanthropists.
If we are breathing, we have something to give. Even bestowing our attention on another person can make a difference.
And giving it with good heart will feel good.
As Corinne Wells writes, it doesn’t have to hurt:
Many people have a Puritanical feeling that they are not giving unless they are sacrificing, which is akin to the old idea that unless medicine tasted bad it could have no virtue. Whereas the most acceptable giving is often simply the sharing of something of which we have a plentiful supply.
What do you have in plentiful supply?
Think of how you can share it.
Then start your career in philanthropy now.