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Share the Blessing 2021: Provision in a pandemic

February 24, 2021 | Impact

2020 brought a lot of challenges, grief, and heartache for many. Yet even in the toughest times, we rest in God’s promises knowing He is still here and still at work. The stories we received from this past Share the Blessing campaign provide a tangible, compelling reminder of this incredible reality.

Over the past seven holiday seasons, we’ve randomly selected and invited a small number of our clients to participate in our annual Share the Blessing campaign. For this campaign, we send these randomly selected number of our clients a cash gift (usually between $50–75) and ask them to think about someone they feel could use an unexpected blessing. Then, we ask that they simply give 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.

With that, we’d like to share the stories we received from this year’s Share the Blessing participants. May these stories inspire and bless you as much as they’ve inspired and blessed us!

 


We know a young family who are experiencing some hard times during this COVID situation. The wife is a server who has not worked for a few months. Their car broke down and needs major repairs. This money will help ensure they have a good meal during this holiday.
–J.L.

 

Hi everyone. I was so blessed with this opportunity. Thank you! So, I prayed for direction…then I shared with my sister the opportunity I had, and she was silent for a moment. She then said there is a family she was aware of that is in need. The family is a family of 7. Dad was a prison guard but developed head and neck cancer and with the treatments has been unable to work. There are 5 children. Mom stays home. Medical bills have devastated them. My love of serving, and oncology nursing, and the fact that it was a cancer family, confirmed to me that this was the family we were to bless. I contacted the wife and shared a bit with her. She was humbled and thankful. I also went to the grocery store and added a cart of food. To say they were thankful is an understatement. Mom sent me a picture of a roast she was making and that they haven’t had meat in such a long time. My heart was full. Giving all glory to God for the chain…LifeGuide, my sister, my obedience that blessed this family.
–K.C.

 

Just a quick update on what we did with the $75.00. We sent it to a young man who attends our church and is going through some counseling, and some other recovery-related programs. All of this costs money and I know he is significantly stretched financially (as are his parents who have helped him considerably). His name is R.. This is a wonderful program and it makes D. and I very pleased and proud that we are working with LifeGuide for our financial planning. Have a wonderful Christmas.
–D. and D. M.

 

I sent the money out to a deserving individual. They have personal and health problems. The just moved in a better home now. They have been on a long journey of misery. I sent the money anonymously.
–L. E.

 

Had a family with 3 kids, no fuel oil for water and home. Delivered the fuel before the storm. I was able to have $160.00 in fuel delivered! She added the $75 to other donations for this family. Thank you for this opportunity!
–C. A.

 

I had success with STB, found a nice young man after prayer. His employer has been encouraging him to come to church. They met him through some community building outreach. He did not have a Bible. They matched the contribution along with other contributions from some friends. They bought a Bible and added the card and money inside. His name is in the Bible, so they put the money and card in that area.
–B. D.

 

A friend at the beach owns her own business. Once COVID hit, she had to shut down her business. She has been selling personal belongings. She is always helping others, always lending a hand even during her struggle. She told us that it made her eyes [tear up] when she opened it up. Also mentioned how appreciative she was of LifeGuide to do something so kind and generous.
–W. D.

 

I appreciate you choosing me to participate. I was keeping my eyes open while shopping. Realized how blessed we are and found it a bit difficult. A few days before Christmas, I was praying to God who I should give it to. I was in Nell’s and ran into one lady in the aisle a couple of times. After seeing her multiple times, I gave her the card and money. I wrote a note on the card and added my phone number. She called to thank me and explained that she is on a limited income and it was such a blessing to her. I added that we went to several places trying to find someone and could not find anyone. My last stop was Nell’s.
–J. L.

 

Thank you for including us in this. It’s been a blessing to us, as we considered who to give it to. We doubled it to $150 and gave it to an older couple in our church. The husband has been out of work and the wife has been going through medical issues. We gave the gift anonymously, through our pastor. So, we’re not sure if we’ll hear back on any details. If we do, I’ll be sure to let you know. The whole idea of the gift and thinking about who to give it to has made us more grateful for all we have and wanting to share it with others. Thank you for thinking of it and doing it.
–P. and A. S.

 

Just wanted you to know that we were able to share the blessing with a single mom who works at the grocery store we use. We had never met her before, but while chatting with her during checkout, realized that she would probably benefit from the blessing. Not much to the story, but it was fun to look for someone to bless and pass along that blessing.
–A. and M. B.

 

We bought 5 poinsettia plants and gave them to:

Each person or family who received a plant was thrilled that someone thought of them at Christmas.
–S. and S. Z.

 

We were pleasantly surprised and blessed to be included in this year’s Share the Blessing Campaign. We donated $25 to our church’s Christmas Eve service offering and prayerfully asked God to show us someone in need during our Christmas Day flight to ID to visit our daughter. While we were boarding our flight, a frazzled looking airline service worker was helping a young mother, her disabled mom, a toddler and an infant with their various suitcases and a stroller board the plane. The attendant came out of the plane just as we walked through the jetway. I felt a gentle voice in my head tell me that this disheveled airline service worker pushing her empty wheelchair needed our gift. I handed her the envelope and simply said to her, “This is for you.” Her face lit up and she seemed to have a bounce in her step as she exited the jetway. I never saw her open the envelope, but I feel certain her life was blessed with that $50 bill!
C. I. and C. L.

 

We had several people in mind to share this blessing with but had not followed through until yesterday. Our pastor had invited me to help a couple move to a new apartment. When we met together prior to loading, we learned that there were unfortunate family dynamics that made this move different than expected. This family needed to separate after a long season of addiction and brokenness. After we had finished our work it seemed evident that the Share the Blessing money would be a huge help as this woman begins to heal. We pray that this story is not over and that someday this home could be restored.
–S. and S. L.

 

With our $75, we bought food and flowers for a young couple whose first baby was born prematurely—21 weeks—at Hershey Med Center on December 22. The baby lived for only one hour, though she wasn’t expected to live at all at that stage. Just a horrific turn of events for these two, but they were so grateful for the gifts last night, after the worst day of their lives.
–M. and T. Z.

 

Having served as volunteers for the feeding program at the local Salvation Army, we decided to contact their office to see if there might be an individual they viewed as greatly benefiting from a gift of money. They responded as follows: 

“Thank you for wanting to share the money you received with someone we serve. Our Care Management Team met today to discuss clients and we all agreed on this particular individual. [Man’s initials] is a resident of the Genesis House Program at The Salvation Army. He is a hard working 33 year old male that is currently working two jobs to support his fiancé and their young daughter. He became behind on his rent because he had several appointments, he was unable to miss and reschedule so his job terminated him. He is extremely motivated and cares for his family.”

We were happy to help this man with his needs. We decided to enhance the gift a bit to expand the blessing. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to “share the blessing.”
–S. and C. B.

 

I didn’t know of anyone personally, so I called the church office and was told about a neighbor family of someone who works in the church. After hearing their story, I really felt led to share the blessing with them.The father is dying of cancer, and the end is expected soon. The mother has MS and is trying to hold down 2 jobs to try to make ends meet. There are twin 16 year old girls who care for the father while the mother works. It has been a very tough year for them, especially with COVID 19 making all our lives even more difficult. Because of COVID I am taking the donation to the church employee to give to her neighbor tomorrow.

 I hope the generosity of Life Guide will be a great blessing to this family. What a great thing you are doing!
–L. T.

 

I wanted to pass on to you that we were able to bless a single mom and her 2 young boys from our church with passing on the Share the Blessing money you sent to us. She was so thankful, and I will try to pass on the texts that my wife and her sent to each other back and forth.

She responded “I just wanted to thank you and T so much for that blessing that I received today! I am truly blessed, and I truly appreciate you for thinking of me I hope you guys had a very very Merry Christmas this meant more to me than you will ever know.”
–T. C.

 

We weren’t super sure about who to give the money to, so we contributed this money to the angel tree.
–J. and B. M.

 

Thank you for allowing us to contribute to this wonderful opportunity. When I got this email, we had a few general ideas or organizations in mind, but no one particular person. Within just a couple of days, my childhood best friend reached out looking for help. He moved far away years ago, so we keep in casual contact as folks do through Facebook. He’s a single parent, finishing up schooling to become a midwife, and recently had some medical complications that have left him with a significant hospital bill as well as reduced his ability to work and pay said bill. [M] and I talked and decided that this would be the right way to use our “Share the Blessing” gift. In addition, we pulled in some of our additional savings to pass along as well.

 As I reflect on this, I could make some comment about how this is all God’s timing…which may very well be true. But this holiday season, I’ve found this to be a good reminder to just do a better job of trying to be aware of the needs that are all around us.
–A. and M. H.

 

Once we knew we were selected to pass on the blessing we began to pray and brainstorm as a family. It was neat to hear from different children ranging in age from 5-20 who they thought we could share it with. We finally chose a couple that our daughter works with. Her friend just had a knee replacement surgery (she’s been waiting for 30+ years) a couple of days before Christmas. We put the money in an envelope and several of us added to it. My daughter and I put a meal together and delivered it Christmas Eve morning. This middle-aged couple was very grateful and overwhelmed by our gift. We visited for at least 45 minutes and had some good spiritual conversations. We had the opportunity to pray with them before we left. A few days later we received a handwritten note of thanks. I was blessed to be able to watch our children get involved by praying and inspired by your gift to join in on their own (the littlest ones particularly) and give. Thanks for the opportunity and encouragement to be intentional.
–A. W. and Family

 

Thank you for selecting me for this special Christmas blessing. A few months ago, a friend from church made me aware of one of our families who was enduring some very tough times. It’s a family of six: Mom, Dad and four adult children. The Dad has a serious, chronic illness that has an eventual downward trajectory, the Mom is working at local retail store, and several of the children have had severe hardships (losing jobs, unable to find jobs, etc.) due to the pandemic. One child works in the same retail store as the Mom, another’s job that requires a lot of travel is on hold (for now) and another has some issues that make it difficult to hold a job. All of this upheaval is quite unseen. I just would never have known they were stressed so much. I struggled, at first to try and think of where to give this gift. I had forgotten their story since it was months ago when I learned of it. Suddenly, they came to mind–your prayers worked! I decided to simply send it to them anonymously. They’ve been so private about their situation that I thought that was the best approach. I explained in my note that the money enclosed was expressly given to me to give away to someone who might need it. I signed the note, “A Christian Friend.”
–C. K.

 

As for Share the Blessing, we easily agreed on a relative who lives out west. She is 69 years old, single, still working in an increasingly stressful job, and had cancer this past year. Adding to her work stress, she has had financial issues. We added to the amount sent to us along with a note of its origin. She responded that it was helpful and appreciated. Although our combined gift didn’t clear her debt, it was a reminder that others care, and God does too!
–G. and V. R.

 

We Shared the Blessing with a neighbor that has been in need for many years, and due to the pandemic is now not working. We anonymously put the money in her front door with a note “May you know the peace and Love of Jesus now and in the new year. Blessings to you, Merry Christmas”
–K. and T. K.

 

[L] and I shared our blessing gift with a young couple in our church who have recently had a baby. In the midst of this joyful time the wife has also been fighting cancer and undergoing treatments for it. She has been in the hospital several times and has been unable to work. They were appreciative of this unexpected gift and said that they will definitely put it to good use.
–L. and L. M.

 

Thanks for choosing us to share the blessing with someone this year. I was asking the Lord to bring someone to mind and I remembered a chance encounter on the playground this summer. I was there with T. and N. and I saw someone I knew from Messiah. She had 3 kids with her that weren’t hers and we started talking.

It turned out that she was helping out a grandmother who had custody of the 3 kids. This woman’s daughter had died of pancreatic cancer a while ago and the father of the children had been in prison and wasn’t a fit dad, so the grandparents had custody. Now, the grandfather had also been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was in the hospital, so my friend was helping out with the kids.

I thought that was very kind of her and couldn’t really get that situation out of my mind. When I received the blessing, this family came to mind and I reached out to my friend. She told me that the grandfather had now passed away and the grandmother had the 3 kids on her own with just her social security check. They seemed a perfect option for the blessing!

We added some to it and passed it along through our mutual friend. I’m sure it was greatly appreciated!
–C. B.

 

There is great need and with just moving recently to a new home and state, we were not sure how to handle this request at first; however, we learned of a young family whose father had lost his job due to the COVID pandemic. And we gave the $75 to a very grateful dad who planned to use the money toward Christmas celebrations for his children. Thank you for allowing us to participate in this wonderful program.
–N. and C. B.

 

Just wanted you to know that we were able to share the blessing with a single mom who works at the grocery store we use. We had never met her before, but while chatting with her during checkout, realized that she would probably benefit from the blessing.

Not much to the story, but it was fun to look for someone to bless and pass along that blessing.
–A. and M. B.

 

I wanted to pass along our experience with the Share the Blessing project for this Christmas season. The first thing we did was to add $25 to the $75 that you sent us, and then we used this money to buy two $50 gift cards.

We sent one of the gift cards to a friend’s daughter. She works at a nursing home and has had many challenging and emotional times as she cares for those who have been impacted by COVID-19. My friend called me to tell me that her daughter was crying when she received our note and gift card – and that she said that “this is the nicest thing anyone has done for me.” I then received a note from the daughter. Here is part of the note “I cried when I received your card and gift card…I can’t believe that someone who doesn’t know me could be so generous and kind. You have really blessed me tremendously more than you’ll ever know…. Thank you so very much!” 

We sent the second gift card to an elderly lady who is a friend of one of our neighbors. We have not yet heard back from her.

UPDATE: I wanted to let you know that I received a Thank You note from the elderly lady who received our 2nd Share the Blessing gift card. Here is part of her note “thank you very much. God bless you always + may all your dreams come true. It was very thoughtful of you to think of me in such blessed + beautiful occasion. Many thanks again.”
–C. and D. N.

 

We were honored to be chosen for the “Share the Blessing” campaign. We have never been a part of something like this and it was exciting to have the opportunity to participate.  

Our very close friend’s [wife] was diagnosed with breast cancer the week before Thanksgiving. She began chemotherapy the week before Christmas. Although they both have been employed and have health insurance, the copays of chemotherapy treatments, along with ultrasounds, frequent lab studies, and procedures, can quickly cause a financial strain. We truly feel we were not randomly chosen, but purposefully chosen by God to share this gift with our dear friends who have been given some most difficult news. As we had the opportunity to share this with them personally, they were overwhelmed with gratitude and thankful hearts! 

Just a side note, later that evening, their refrigerator stopped working. 

“Share the Blessing” was a testimony for us all, that God is faithful, He is able, and he shows up at the perfect time.
–D. and B. K.

 

Thank you and all at LifeGuide for including us in the Share the Blessing opportunity. [B] and I immediately knew someone who was the right beneficiary. I recently became aware of a situation in our church involving a single mother with two children. Her ex is vengeful and creating as much financial stress for her as he can, causing her legal bills to skyrocket. Recently her refrigerator died. Just before Christmas she took her son to cut a tree for their home – his first experience. After getting it home, she was trimming the base to fit the stand, and cut her hand badly. On the way to urgent care, a deer ran out in front of her, and her car was totaled. With all of this current difficulty, she continues to seek the Lord and raise her children to know Him. Her son who is 11, made a profession of faith this year when we were having virtual services. She sent us a thank you, which I have scanned and included with this email.
–G. and B. O.

 

We knew right away which family member needed the most help financially. [E] has a younger sister, and her youngest son has been a struggle most of his life. Getting into mischief, dropping out of HS, in and out of [prison]. Mostly for minor infractions but too lazy at times to go to his court date and then it is followed up with a bench warrant. Back in lockup. Go figure.

But now in his late twenties, the court and fines are behind him (we pray) but he is struggling to secure a steady job. Mainly because he has no means of transportation.

So, on Christmas Day, I pulled him aside with his girlfriend and explained to both of them a little about your team and the program. I handed over the envelope, a bit teary eyed and then just watched them. They were overwhelmed with the generosity and proceeded to give me big hugs and thank you’s. The extra cash has been warmly received and greatly appreciated. I pass along the big hugs and thank you’s from the W. family. 

The true meaning of Christmas is the giving. God bless and Happy New Year to all.
–R. and E. W.

 

For Share the Blessing, we really thought long and hard to see if we could find someone who could truly benefit from an unexpected gift this season. We decided that there are many service people, specifically, restaurants that have been hit really hard by the pandemic. Earlier this year all restaurants were mandated to close down. Then they could only serve customers outside, then 25% indoors and then 50%. We just felt that someone could use an unexpected gift to brighten their day before Christmas. Following a lunch at a local restaurant near where we live, we presented our server with the envelope as we were finishing our coffee. She took the card into the back to open and came back out expressing enormous gratitude and thanks. It was a wonderful experience to see how happy this one person became by this simple gesture of the “Just Because” Share the Blessing.

Before this and during the week of Christmas, we wanted to try to make a positive impact on people because we know how stressful this time of year can be to many individuals. We decided that we would find a fast-food restaurant and use the drive-thru to purchase dinner for ourselves. Once we paid for ourselves, we asked to speak to the manager. The person at the fast-food window thought there was a problem. Once the manager came to the window, we simply said that we wanted to pay it forward and pay for the meals of as many people as we could behind us. The manager seemed surprised but appreciative. I’m sure that everyone who received a free meal that evening was in a much better mood and hopefully will someday themselves do the same thing for other people.

One of our neighbors let us know about a child from the school that she teaches at where the family has very little ability to purchase any gifts for Christmas. We immediately said we can help and picked up whatever we could from a list of items that the child could use or might like. T. and I have been richly blessed in our lives and we are so happy that we have the ability to positively impact peoples’ lives even if only in these small ways!
–K. and T. B.

 

When S. and I received the email indicating we were selected to participate in this year’s Share the Blessing, we decided we would match the money and so we would be able to bless someone with $150.00.

Through our church, we learned of A., an over the road truck driver. [A.] has allowed a woman and her son to move into his house and live while he is on the road driving. This woman would have been homeless if not for A.’s kindness and support.
–D. and S. R.

 

We considered a couple families that we could share it with but after prayer J. and I were in agreement to share it with a single father in our church that is caring for his 2 children. He recently finished school and training for HVAC work and has a good job now, but it has been a struggle for him. He helps with the boy’s club at our church, so we wanted to bless him with the money. J. took the money to him Sunday evening along with a plate of cookies.

Thanks again for this opportunity.
–J. and M. M.

 

As a family, we decided to bless a member of our church family who is single and raising a grandson on her own. My husband and I decided to double the $75 blessing and our daughter decided to contribute $100. Being a part of Share the Blessing has made us realize we want to do this every year!
–J., T., B., and C. N.

 

A.K., our town barber, was our person. We have known him for 25 years as a barber and a person who helped run [local community events]. This year his business and life has been turned upside down. After being closed many months, he was allowed to open under very strict conditions. [A.] lost his savings to pay his bills and still only got about 60 % of his clients back. Events he liked to help with to make [our community] a better community all were canceled. We are hoping this money and our prayers will give him a better year in 2021.
–L. and P. F.

 

I contacted our pastor…He knew of someone who was in need. We decided that I would give [our pastor] the card and money and he would pass it along to help keep their privacy. I forgot to ask if it was a single person or a family, but [our pastor] said that they were in between jobs.

We added a little more money to the blessing.This is such a wonderful way to help others in need. Thank you LifeGuide for caring about the people in need in our community. What a beautiful way to share God’s love and help others. We were blessed by this and will be praying for the recipients of this blessing.
–D. and C. O.

 

After much thought, I chose a patient at my store whose name is M. She is a young lady (in her twenties) who had the misfortune of having some serious health problems this past year. I mostly deal with her boyfriend but speak to her often and she seems like a wonderful young lady. I thought she could use the Blessing and some monetary help over the holidays in the hopes that it would bring a smile to her face, so I wrote a note in the card and slipped it into her prescription bag. I have not heard a word back from her or her boyfriend, so I don’t have anything exciting to pass on except to say that I hope it put a smile on her face!
–C. B.

 

It is a little past the Christmas season, but I wanted to get our report back to you regarding “Share the Blessing”. We prayed for the Holy Spirit to direct our thoughts about where this gift should go. My hair stylist, B., has had a very rough year. First, she had to close her salon for four months due to the COVID lockdown. This is her only source of income, and she is a single mom with a teenage daughter. After the lockdown was lifted, she was able to open her salon again, but the other stylist in her shop chose not to return. This added to the financial blow. Her greatest concern is that she is financially locked into her shop space rent through the end of 2021. She has applied for money through the COVID small business grants and loans program but was denied. She has been scraping by to keep food on the table and her personal bills paid. She works long hours to accommodate clients and tries to manage a teenage daughter caught in the depression of isolation. In spite of this stress, she tries to keep an upbeat and positive attitude. But when she is honest, the weight of her burden is revealed. 

B. used to attend church. That is where I first met her. Her trust is in God. But like so many people, she is disconnected from a church family, and her roots are weakening. She has no family other than her daughter and feels like she has all the weight of her world on her shoulders alone. God put it on our hearts to reach out to her. So, to your gift, we added another $225 of our own, for a total of $300. In the card I wrote a message of hope and affirmed her value in the eyes of God, reminding her that He is always there for her, and longs to be in relationship with her. 

After many tears and hugs, she expressed her thankfulness and appreciation of the kindness and concern shown in this gift. She was thankful to God for this blessing, restating that she knows He is with her, providing for her. She is trying to trust in that. For me, it was an opportunity to be “Jesus with skin on”. I love being God’s servant! I will continue talking with her and encouraging her to seek Jesus with her whole heart, and to keep trusting.

Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the “Share the Blessing” outreach. It was an honor and blessing to us also.
–C. and K. H.

 

We were finally able to “share the blessing” and wanted to give an update. We recently moved to a new house. We had connected with a small church shortly before COVID but still don’t know too many other people. We loved the idea of the Share the Blessing campaign but didn’t know anyone in our immediate circles that was in need.

Initially, we heard that PECO (the power company in Philadelphia where we used to live) was extending an opportunity to people to buy gift cards or pay bills for people as a Christmas present. Again, we didn’t know anyone directly that was in need, but we thought that since so many people are out of work because of COVID, it would be nice to do that. We emailed the hotline and said that we didn’t have the name of anyone in particular but if the company could apply a donation to someone’s bill, then that would be great! Unfortunately, we never heard back.

So we kept waiting and listening. In the early hours on Wednesday morning when D. was awake for no apparent reason, she started to think about the campaign and racked her brain for who we could give the money to. The Sunday before, our pastor had mentioned that the wife of an older couple in our congregation was hospitalized with COVID (she also had dementia) and wasn’t doing well. Maybe the husband could use the money to buy meals for himself at the hospital or at home. Later in the day on Wednesday, we found out that the wife had passed away the night before. It is apparent to us that God put this man on our hearts, and we are happy to be able to walk with him in this way as he grieves.
–D. and S. B.

 

We were able to bless a family with the $75 sent to us. The father drives truck. Had an accident and was out of work for several months. Thanks for blessing us to bless someone else. God’s blessings on all of you.
–D. and D. P.

 

I was one of the people selected to take part in the share the blessing campaign for 2021. I went on a mission’s trip to the Dominican Republic this January and I gave my blessing to the missionaries working there for whatever they needed most at the moment. It was so cool to see first-hand what my blessing would contribute to, and what my future donations would be going to help. They have a Christian school and a church that are their ministry down there and my blessing went to help [one of the school teachers] get glasses. After our group left, they took her to a clinic in San Juan and she is pretty much blind in one eye and the other is very poor- however they were able to get glasses that corrected the “good” eye. She says it has made her world much LARGER. Sometimes small things can make a large difference in someone’s life. It was really cool to be able to see how just that little blessing was able to make such a difference. Thanks so much for this opportunity to give to someone in need!
–L.C.

 

J. had been carrying around the Share the Blessing money since we got it. Up until now there didn’t seem to be a right moment to give it to someone. Last night we had dinner at [a café], and we gave it to our server. She’s originally from Mexico, the mother of four, and is working two jobs. She couldn’t get finished thanking us. Thanks for the privilege of helping us be a blessing to someone. We hope to see her again as [the café] is one of our favorite places to eat in OC.
–J. and R. S.

 

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.

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