April 5, 2019 | Impact
For the fifth year in a row, LifeGuide’s “Share the Blessing” campaign was a great success! We want to thank all those who partnered with us to bless our local community in this unique way. Over the next five weeks, we will be sharing the touching stories from this year’s campaign. We were inspired and amazed by this year’s stories, and we think you will be too!
As a reminder, during this past Christmas season, we sent $75 to a number of randomly selected clients to personally share with an individual or family in need of an unexpected blessing.
Please find below the second selection of stories.
Through Share the Blessing, I was able to help one of my younger brother’s college friends, “Thomas.” While I was stumped on who to give this blessing to, my brother had informed me that Thomas was from Ferguson, Missouri, a town that lately has had a lot of dangerous riots, and comes from a low-income family, as they were unable to get him home from Pittsburgh for the holiday season. When hearing this for the first time, my brother and his friends had raised enough money for a round trip ticket to get Thomas home and back for Christmas. A great and polite young man, Thomas was very honored by this gift from his friends but getting another unexpected blessing from a stranger like myself who had heard about his family’s struggles, he was very thankful and appreciative. This blessing is going to help Thomas and his family out this season with their expenses as well as transportation, and food on his travels back to Missouri. Though the town he is from has gone through drastic events, Thomas is on his way to becoming a successful individual. This was special for me because I had not gotten the chance to really do something like this before. A huge smile on his face beamed happiness and thankfulness which is the reaction I had hoped for. Thomas is an outstanding student who does not put forth his struggles but overcomes them. I am very honored that I was selected for this campaign. This is an awesome opportunity to give back to those who are struggling or are even less fortunate.
My usual scope of activity these days didn’t bring anyone to mind as a beneficiary for Share the Blessing this year, so I immediately contacted my church family, whose various ministries in the community touch so many lives that I was sure they would have a suggestion for me. Indeed, they did! A mother named “Ruby” has been using the food pantry for the past several months. She has three sons, at least two of whom have special needs and require frequent care at Hershey Medical Center, often on an emergency basis. The food pantry volunteers brightened immediately when they mentioned her, saying that she always has a “glow” about her and always seems upbeat, even when she’s exhausted from tending to her sons’ needs. As one of the volunteers put it, they have “fallen in love” with her and her boys. I didn’t want to know any further details about her, trusting fully what I was seeing and hearing from the church members. They were glowing as they told me about her! The blessing for me in this was in reconnecting with my church family and participating in one of their ministries. Faith is never more alive than when it expresses itself through service. Thank you for allowing me to participate in sharing this blessing again!
Thank you for choosing me to take part in the “Share the Blessing” campaign. Here’s how I chose to give it…or should I say how the Lord guided me to do so… I carried the envelope in my purse for a week or so and at times totally forgot I had it in my purse. Each morning I prayed for the person(s) that the Lord would lead me to; however, the places I went and the people I saw just didn’t seem to produce any results. On the Sunday before Christmas, I went to buy some last-minute food items at the Giant in Mechanicsburg. In the store I saw who I perceived might be a veteran and I prayed whether I should give him the gift. He left the store before me, so I asked the Lord if he was the one that I would see him in the parking lot. Unfortunately, I didn’t see him. So, I continued to the far end of the lot where I had parked my car. I emptied my groceries into the car and proceeded to take the cart back to the rack. Nearby, there was a woman standing outside her vehicle holding a rabbit. I noticed there were two small animal crates on the ground and the back seat of the car was filled with what looked like her belongings. As I approached her and inquired about the rabbit, a dog appeared in the back seat and tried to leave the car. She asked me to walk away so the dog would settle down. Before I complied, I handed her the envelope and said I felt God was leading me to give it to her. I said, “God bless you” and then walked away. I prayed for her as I headed home that the Lord would guide and protect her and draw her to himself. She seemed to have a tender heart as evidenced by the love she was showering on the rabbit. Even though I don’t know anything about this woman, it brings me comfort that our great and loving God does, and that He has a plan for her life. I pray she was blessed by the gift she received. I so appreciate the kindness and generosity that LifeGuide shows to charities and those in difficult times of life.
Through Share the Blessing, we were able to help a mom of seven children dealing with different health issues purchase Christmas gifts for her children. The Blessing was helpful for her because she had no money to put towards gifts and is transitioning into healthier employment. This gift allowed her to continue in that transition! God orchestrated this. A previous woman that was on my heart was not getting back to me. When I went into work and shared with this mom that I had $75 to share, she was astonished because she didn’t know what money she was going to use to purchase Christmas gifts.
Through Share the Blessing I was able to help the neighbors across the street. I’ve known them for over ten years and know how hard it is for him to keep a job. He is trying to further educate himself, but it’s hard with three kids. I took the $75, more than doubled it, and gave it to them just before Christmas. What a joy it was to see how happy he and she were! They said it really made their Christmas this year.
We chose to ‘Share the blessing’ gift with a couple we know who has had a very tough year. In January their teenaged grandson committed suicide and they have struggled with the painful loss. The husband has some dementia along many health problems and has been in and out of the hospital several times. The wife works to keep them afloat financially and carries a lot of responsibility as a caregiver. We added our own gift to yours and were so blessed to share with them. In addition, as we were praying and deciding who to bless, we thought of three people / couples. We really wanted to share with them all, so we did! Thanks for inspiring us to give.
We chose to share the $75 blessing money with a family that our small group from church had the opportunity to help at Thanksgiving (food) and Christmas (food and some gifts). They are a family of five — father, mother, and three young girls, ages 9, 5, and 4. The family immigrated to our area from Ghana. The parents are working, but still find it difficult to provide for their family. I appreciated being able to give the blessing money to the mother so that she could have the freedom to use it as she needs, whether for food or gifts or rent, etc. Her face lit up when I gave her the money and she gave me a huge hug. She shared with me that she had told her girls that there would be no Christmas gifts this year, that they would focus on being thankful for what they already have. Our 13-year old daughter was with me to hear her share how she was leading her daughters through a lean season with thankful hearts, which was a wonderful learning opportunity for my daughter and me, as well. Thank you for selecting us to participate in Share the Blessing this year. I enjoy knowing that we were able to help this family have some means to celebrate Christmas with food, gifts, and money–especially now knowing their attitude going in to this lean season.
Thank you for allowing us to take part in “Share the Blessing” this year! We chose to give the money to a friend who works 60 hours per week to make ends meet. He is one of the hardest working people I know and would be the first to say that money should be earned through hard work. It was such a privilege to give him the $75 just to let him know he is loved and appreciated. This man works long hours to provide for his wife and his two grandsons whom he has a significant part in raising. The money will go a long way in blessing him as he provides for his family.
Through Share the Blessing we were able to help my cousin, “Mary”, and her family. Mary was diagnosed with ALS this past year after going through months seeking a diagnosis. She was a beautician with a business run out of her home. Due to her loss of hand strength and mobility and the ability to stand for extended periods of time, Mary had to give up working which meant a loss of income on which her family depended. She and her husband have a daughter who is a sophomore at Kutztown and a son who is a senior at Lower Dauphin. Everyone has pulled together to make the best of the situation, but finances have been strained. This was special to me because Mary is such a sweet person and would never ask for help. She is so appreciative and humble in receiving the help that friends and family provide. ALS is such a horrible condition and Mary likely will not have many years left with her family. Thank you for the opportunity to provide this gift during the holiday season. My prayers for the family are that they are open to receiving the best gift of all, Jesus Christ, in the coming year.
All included names have been changed to maintain anonymity.
“Share the Blessing” is not part of LifeGuide Financial Advisors’ advisory services but a campaign where participation and sharing of stories is voluntary. For information about LifeGuide’s advisory services, please refer to our ADV-Disclosure Brochure.