When you think of the word “generosity,” what comes to mind? Perhaps you envision a selfless act of service, donating to charity, taking on the financial burden for someone in need, or volunteering your time to help those who could use it. While it can take many forms, we believe generosity is foundational to a life characterized by peace, freedom, and lasting impact.
For the past six holiday seasons, we’ve randomly selected and sent a number of our clients a cash gift (usually between $50–75). We ask them to think about someone they feel could use an unexpected blessing and simply hand that person the cash—no strings attached. We’ve seen time and again how this little unexpected blessing can leave a lasting impact greater than its financial worth. Every year, we see families moved, a domino effect of blessings, and small miracles happening all around us.
With that, we’d like to share some of the stories we received from participants in this year’s Share the Blessing campaign. We hope you’re as inspired as we are through these stories of generosity, gratitude, and grace.
Thanks for including us in the Share the Blessing opportunity! Nothing gets me more excited than blessing another. We received the Share the Blessing mailing the Wednesday prior to Christmas, immediately prior to leaving the house for Life Center’s mid-week service.
We serve on the post-service prayer ministry team, and we were approached for prayer by a young woman in her early 20’s whom I will call “Joy.” I was attending to the prayer needs of another and my wife was joined by our friend, Cynthia, to minister to Joy’s needs. I later came to join them and prayed silently. Joy shed many tears that night as she had just returned home from a season at a ministry school in Redding, California.
From what my wife could gather, Joy had previously lived with her parents, and verbal abuse was part of the story. She did not want to return home due to the situation. In fact, Cynthia afforded her some temporary housing for a few days, and we knew we would see Joy again to check on her the Sunday before Christmas.
The Lord placed it on our hearts to share our gift with Joy. We added $25 to make it $100 total and passed it to Joy after the Sunday service. Joy’s eyes lit up and tears of joy streamed down her face. There were a few people sitting adjacent to us that watched as well, and I could tell they were touched by this gesture, too. Joy has since obtained some initial employment at Panera Bread on the West Shore. It was a blessing to us to participate and share the LifeGuide gift with her. To God be the glory.
— B. and J. C.
I reached out to my church for a family that was in need. While waiting for a response, I prayed. I wasn’t looking at my own family until God laid it on my heart. We gave our Share The Blessing gift to our 25-year-old niece with a life-threatening medical condition. She was diagnosed after being married for 6 months. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation, and a portion of her medical bills and medications were not covered. We matched the donation from LifeGuide and gave it to our niece to cover the expenses.
From my Niece: “Thank you for the gift. We are so blessed to have faithful servants in our lives. Please thank LifeGuide Financial Advisors for their selfless gift.”
— B. and C.B.
I was able to help a family who is adopting a baby from an orphanage in India. They have put their faith in God and follow Him always. The cost has been steep, but God provides. They are both pastors and work for Christian organizations. The cost of the adoption is expensive, and the travel costs are not included. They leave next week. This was special for us because we are unable to have children and are so impressed by those who are willing to take in children who need a family.
— G. and C.
We were able to help our friend from F3 Lanco, “Mark.” Mark lost his mother in November of 2019 after a difficult divorce mid-2018 through mid-2019 following a fight with cancer 2017 through 2018. He has gone through medical, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual challenges over the past two years that have left he and his two sons in need of financial help.
We hope this gift will help Mark and his sons financially with any expenses involved with his mother’s funeral and this first Christmas holiday without their mother/grandmother present.
— E. and S. B.
As we prayed and knew you were praying also, a name kept coming to mind. “Shannon’s” family has been going through an incredibly tough time. There are three sisters in the family, “Drue,” “Carly,” and Shannon. All adults with families of their own, Drue was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer which has recently spread to her brain. Carly was also diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease and is now in hospice care.
As you can imagine, Shannon is overwhelmed, facing the loss of her sister at the same time. She and her parents, along with her sisters’ families, have been doing all they can for many months now. Although we believe the money will help, the real blessing is knowing that God will provide and that they know they aren’t alone.
We chose to give anonymously through a mutual friend. Since my sister battled breast cancer 10 years ago, we know the toll it takes on a family. Then, to know you are facing the death of another sister seemed so very difficult for us. You feel somewhat helpless in knowing how to bring a small bit of relief. Through giving this money, we feel God will meet a need for them.
— M. and M. B.
We were able to help an elderly woman confined to a wheelchair. Her son had recently drained her bank account, and she was concerned she would not have enough money for her rent payment. It warms our hearts to know this gift will help her to pay the rent and get her started in recovering from her son’s terrible actions.
— R. and D. A.
I was able to help a woman from my church who is on a very strict budget and has trouble making ends meet. I took her out to lunch and gave her the card and money. She had gotten her family a lot of little gifts for Christmas but had no money to mail them to Arkansas. She was overwhelmed.
It felt good to see her get blown away when she opened the card, so unexpected, happy, and thankful.
— J. H.
We helped a lady at our church who sometimes struggles financially. “Jennifer” moved here from California to be closer to her son. She lived in a mobile home and is not familiar with the cold weather in Pennsylvania. She had problems with her pipes freezing and with heating her home. She needed extra financial help over the holidays.
We did not know who we could bless with this gift, so we asked our pastor if anyone in the church could use extra help. Our pastor recommended Jennifer, so we added an extra $25 to the amount to make it an even $100. We wanted to give the gift anonymously, so when we talked to our pastor, he said he would hand it to her and not say who it was from.
— A. and C. K.
“Jan,” a wife and mother of two young adult children, had her 22nd heart attack in December. She is having major testing to see if the heart is affecting her organs or if her organs are affecting her heart. She is now on a heart transplant list. She is also a diabetic which is further complicating her condition.
She had to quit her job due to major medical issues. She had just gotten her pastoral credentials in March of 2019 at Valley Forge. She was hired as a drug and alcohol counselor in September and was doing a wonderful job helping people. She stopped working the first week of December.
The Lord put her on my heart. Jan is a woman of great faith. She is a servant of the Lord, always doing for others.
— J. and C. R.
Updates on Jan’s Story:
“I went to the doctor’s office this morning to get the results of some testing and it was mind-blowing and heartbreaking for me. I still have to have lung testing done on Monday, so I have to wait on that. The doctor stated that my gallbladder is full of gall stones, my liver is working less than 50%, and they found that I have legions and a huge mass on my pancreas. My heart is weak and the cloud around my heart is thicker and has caused more damage. With everything going on with my other organs, I am currently not eligible to be a candidate for a heart transplant.
I will be going to see a surgeon sometime very soon to discuss what to do next. It’s dangerous because any surgery can be risky for me. When I went to the doctor’s this morning, I actually was expecting no bad news for some reason, because I didn’t really think I was this sick. I knew my heart was a huge problem, but now I have much, much more going on. I came home, went to the restroom and then, I cried… really cried! As I truly am coming to grips that I may not have a lot of time left on this Earth, I still am going to praise God. He knows I need healing, but He also knows that I absolutely love and trust Him.
I am no way saying goodbye, and I’m going to continue to fight to live but a lot of people don’t realize or don’t want to come to terms with death being the ultimate healing. Before I was ever sick, I have always told my mom, my family, and now my children and husband that if I ever died, I don’t want them to cry for me because I will be with the man I love the most; my Jesus, my God, my Savior. Again, I may live to be 100, but that’s not looking promising. I need a miracle; I absolutely need your prayers.
I’m going to continue to do things, go places with my husband, and spend time with all of you, and I’m going to rest when my body needs to rest. If I ever did anything for any of you, I hope it’s that I showed you about a Man who loves you, who died on the cross for you and a God who is to be praised and worshipped. Please pray for my husband, my children, and my family. Thanks, everyone. Remember, I’m not giving up. I trust in God and am praying that His will be done and He, I trust, has complete control over my situation and my life.”
We were able to bless a man and his caregiver at church. He was in an accident and comes to church in a wheelchair. We added money so we could give each one a card and money. His caregiver is also needy. The deacons recommended them to us.
We gave them each a card. They opened them, but we did not wait to sneak a look. I only knew their names. They did not know us, but now they see us at church and recognize us as those who gave them money.
In addition to this gift, we also gave a gift to a Giant store cart gatherer who seemed needy. He now also greets us and smiles. That is enough payment.
— G. and R. K.
We blessed a friend of ours, “Sarah,” and her husband, “Ben.” Sarah and Ben were in a rental home. They are 67 and 70 years old, respectively. Ben is on dialysis. They had a fire in their home several weeks ago and were forced to move to a hotel with their dogs until they could find another home to rent. They had no renter’s insurance, and most everything was lost due to smoke damage.
Sarah and I are good friends through horses. This was an easy choice, because Sarah is one of the most giving people I know, always there for others. We added an additional $125 so we could hand her an envelope with $200. She was extremely thankful, receiving it with tears in her eyes, causing me to tear up, as well.
— J. and T. M.
We were able to help a woman named “Holly” in North Carolina. Holly has multiple sclerosis and is disabled. She lived alone in a trailer and has very little income. This gift helped her with food and gas bills over the Christmas and new year period.
— R. and L. M.
At LifeGuide, we believe that managing your finances shouldn’t be stressful but rather deeply fulfilling. If you feel moved to bless someone with an unexpected, no-strings-attached gift, we’d love to hear your story!
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 are voluntary. For information about LifeGuide’s advisory services, please refer to our ADV-Disclosure Brochure.