Have you considered expanding your Holiday Shopping to make a huge impact and an eternal difference in someone’s life?
I had that opportunity just last night! I finished our radio show, Amazing Stories From Skid Row, on 99.5 FM KKLA.com at 9:30 PM each weeknight. It was late and I was tired, but my wife asked me to pick up a Thanksgiving Turkey before it was too late. I’d been delaying shopping awaiting pay day. As I jumped out of my car a man stumbled up to me, out of the shadows, obviously suffering from alcohol or drug abuse. At first I waved him off. Then I felt the familiar tug on my heart, looked back, and asked, “What do you need?”
He answered, “I’m hungry and I need help. I assured him that I would get him a sandwich, and something to drink.
“Can you buy me a beer?”
“No, I can’t do that.” I then gave him my card, told him that I am the CEO of Union Rescue Mission, and that we could help him with his recovery, followed by job training, then a job. I asked his name and he told me a bit of his story and that his name is Bobby.
As I walked in for a 20 lb. turkey, I simply added a Lunchable Uploaded, a 2 liter Diet Coke, and a big bag of chips to my shopping cart, and in effect, expanded my Holiday Shopping. I had the opportunity presented to me to make a bit of a difference in someone’s life, instead of just thinking of my own and my family’s needs. It may not have been much, it certainly didn’t cost much. But if Bobby takes that card, decides to come to Union Rescue Mission and enter our 1 year intense recovery program, that little gesture of kindness I made very well might transform a life.
That is what Giving Tuesday is all about; Expanding your Holiday Shopping opportunities by including those in need in not only your thoughts, but in your shopping list. Americans spend $52 Billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday began to shift the focus a bit to others in our community who very well are left out of this Holiday Giving Tradition, and like Bobby, left out in the cold.
Won’t you consider a gift to a worthy cause that transforms lives such as Union Rescue Mission? Donate Online at urm.org/givingtuesday. A gift, even a small portion of your shopping budget, could transform a precious soul like Bobby. To learn more about Giving Tuesday, read my friend & twitter expert Beth Kanter’s Blog about Giving Tuesday.
Rev. Andy Bales, CEO