School in Kenya where students attend, who were impacted by RG's financial support.
Generosity is a powerful force that can create a ripple effect far beyond what we can see. It can inspire others to do the same, uplift the lives of those impacted, and share the love of Jesus.
When we received the call from MOHI, Mission of Hope International, their call for urgent child sponsorship struck a chord. Every day, there are kids in first-world countries with little to no financial support to get them through school. For something that comes so naturally, and can often be taken for granted, education is a privilege many around the world have to fight for access to.
Thanks to our church's generosity, during our Big Offering Giveaway in 2022 we were able to raise $210,000 dollars to send to partners locally and around the world. One of those partners was MOHI. RG, along with other churches across the country, were able to provide financial support for those students needing urgent sponsorship to pay for their transportation, school supplies, and tuition.
Generosity can take many forms. It can be giving money to a charity, volunteering your time to a cause, or simply being kind to someone who needs it. No matter how we choose to be generous, the impact can be significant, just like this. When we give to others, we create a sense of community and compassion. We show that we care about the well-being of others and that we are willing to help when we can.
In a culture that promotes more taking than giving and excessive consumerism and materialism, it's difficult to exercise our generosity muscle. For many, we've become lazy and lethargic when it comes to generosity. But just like a lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet affects our physical well-being, not practicing generosity can lead to a negative impact on our health.
For instance, a study published in the journal "Social Science & Medicine" found that people who reported higher levels of charitable giving had lower levels of depression, even after controlling other factors such as income, education, and health status. Similarly, another study published in the journal "Psychology and Aging" found that older adults who volunteered more frequently had higher levels of life satisfaction and well-being.
Research has also shown that generosity can have positive effects on physical health. A study conducted by the University of Michigan found that older adults who provided tangible support to others, such as helping with daily activities, had lower levels of chronic illnesses and disabilities compared to those who did not provide such support.
Generosity has also been found to impact social well-being. A study published in the journal "Social Psychology and Personality Science" found that people who engage in more prosocial behaviors, such as volunteering or donating to charity, tend to have more positive social relationships and a greater sense of social connectedness.
The far reaches of generosity are truly limitless. When we give without expecting anything in return, we create a positive energy that can spread far and wide. It can touch the lives of people we may never meet, inspire others to give, and create a better world for all of us. Including ourselves. It can improve our quality of life, our relationships, and our health.
So where do we start?
There are many practical ways we can practice living generously, and they don't all involve money.
Volunteer: One of the most effective ways to practice generosity is by volunteering your time and skills to a cause you care about. You can volunteer at a local nonprofit organization, community center, or school. Volunteering not only benefits the organization but also provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Donate: Donating money to a charitable organization or cause is another way to practice generosity. You can donate to a local charity, an international organization, or even set up a monthly donation to a cause you support. Even small donations can make a significant impact.
Give Blood: Donating blood is a simple yet impactful way to practice generosity. Blood donations are always needed and can save lives.
Pay it Forward: The next time you're in line at a coffee shop, pay for the person's order behind you. This act of kindness can create a ripple effect of generosity and kindness.
Help a Neighbor: Offer to mow your neighbor's lawn, help carry groceries, or shovel their driveway in the winter. Small acts of kindness towards neighbors can create a strong sense of community and generosity.
Listen: Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is your time and attention. Take the time to listen to someone who needs to be heard, and provide emotional support when necessary.
Offer Skills: Do you have a particular skill that can benefit others? Offer your skills pro-bono to a nonprofit or individual who needs them. This could be anything from graphic design to teaching English.
Being generous doesn't have to be a big, lavish thing. It can be as simple as listening or showing kindness. Anybody can do it - where will you start?
Boehm, J. K., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2013). Charitable giving and its effects on happiness in a representative sample of the German population. Social Science & Medicine, 97, 202-208.
Musick, M. A., & Wilson, J. (2006). Volunteering and psychological well-being among young-old adults: How much is too much? Psychology and Aging, 21(2), 287-297.
Brown, S. L., Nesse, R. M., Vinokur, A. D., & Smith, D. M. (2003). Providing social support may be more beneficial than receiving it: Results from a prospective study of mortality. Psychological Science, 14(4), 320-327.