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Share the Blessing 2022: Stories of Hope

February 15, 2022   |   Impact

Over the past eight 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.

This year, with the backdrop of the pandemic beginning to fade, we knew this Share the Blessing would be an important reminder of God’s hope and provision as the financial and emotional effects of the pandemic continue to linger on in many peoples’ lives.

With that, we’d like to share the stories we received from this year’s Share the Blessing participants. While the names have been changed/ anonymized to protect the identities of those who participated, these stories are otherwise unedited so you can experience the stories in each participant’s own words.

May these stories inspire and bless you as much as they’ve inspired and blessed us!

[C], a Grandma, had just visited her grandsons, boys 6, 7 and 8, the children of her son. When she arrived, she discovered he had been incarcerated and his girlfriend was doing drug deals in front of the children. She went to the authorities and was able to get the children removed but had nothing for them. An effort by multiple ministries and individuals began as a large bag for each child of 14 outfits, hats, gloves, socks and pjs was donated, followed by 3 beds with all the bedding, and 3 dressers all set up by volunteers in the Grandma’s dining room turned bedroom. LifeGuide’s Share the Blessing was used to provide underbed containers for the boys’ personal treasures. Finally, a local businesswoman donated a new dryer to replace [C]’s broken one. There is a plan to partner with several families from a nearby church to come alongside the Grandma to provide long-term support. Thank you, LifeGuide, for making it possible to be a part of the miracle for [C] and her grandsons.

I was given a Share the Blessing envelope at the open house. I matched the amount and today gave it to a woman in one of my exercise classes. She recently finished 14 months of chemo, and now not working. She was appreciative and grateful for the gift from LifeGuide! I thank you for the opportunity to be a part if Share the Blessing. Thank you again!

I shared the blessing with a local family I have known for probably almost 40 years now. They are hardworking and the mother passed yesterday evening pretty quickly from cancer and her daughter was at work the next morning. I know God lead me immediately to share this blessing with them to help them this Christmas season.

[K] and I passed on your Christmas blessing to a homeless person that our pastors became aware of as having a need that would be helped by this. It will be presented tomorrow evening at our Christmas Eve service, at which he will be present. Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness, and for allowing us to be part of this blessing.

In the late summer a woman pleaded on our next-door neighbor communications site for help for her family. She bared her soul and told a story of losing jobs to covid then apartment, car was in repo, and had moved here with her husband and 1yr old son to live in her estranged father’s home. They came from New Hampshire. Well, many people on the site gave helpful suggestions. Places to go for assistance, jobs that were available etc. But nothing tangible. The Lord led me to actually reach out and visit them. The need was real, way too much to communicate, but I felt led to help. I have become close with this woman, and she calls me more like a mom and grandma to her son. Our church has blessed them in ways. I have been inviting her to worship, prayed with her, talked about my Savior… We had them to our home for a meal and to give the baby a few gifts. I had a few things for parents as well. In the gift, I included the “LifeGuide 50” with my written testimony. I am appreciative of the additional opportunity to serve and be a friend to this family. Pray for their hearts to hear and for wisdom for me going forward.

We learned that a woman on our church staff, who is from Ethiopia and does not have a lot of resources, had been having difficulties getting in touch with family from Ethiopia due to all the turmoil in that country. She is planning to visit the country in January to see how her relatives are faring. This will be a real financial sacrifice for her, and we were able to bring a huge smile to her face by helping her with expenses via the gift from LifeGuide. Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to be a blessing!

Thank you for allowing my family to take part in The Share the Blessing campaign this year. My son is a missionary, and he was telling me about a man in his church who hurt his back and has been unable to get the treatment needed for him to recover and go back to work. When I decided that this gentleman was the person I wanted to bless with the LifeGuide money, I could not find it, so I put $50 that I had received from Christmas in the card. Later, when I found the LifeGuide money I decided to simply add it to my Christmas money so he could receive the double the blessing and so could I!

Our Just Because story: I do a full shift ride along with City of Harrisburg Police every Friday night. I oversee 3rd Platoon as a Chaplain. I had a female officer get married in October, pregnant in November, then husband contracted COVID in December, into the hospital for several weeks on oxygen. He has since begun to recover. But I gave your $50 to her and she was so encouraged.

There is a single lady in our church who is faithful in serving three Chinese families in our community who now attend our church. She works hard for her money and is very generous with them. However, the parents work and leave the kids at home alone quite often and she provides food and craft activities for them. Once I explained the envelope to her, she texted me this: “Thanks for the gift. It will go towards [A]’s 14th birthday celebration. We meet weekly and sometimes more that than. My standard is to feed them with food and spiritual food too. $50 goes a long way with 5 kids. Thank you. Every bit helps tremendously to offset costs coming from my pocket and inspires me to keep going. I feel so blessed by the support. This is a total blessing. So thankful that God has these kiddos! Thanks LifeGuide for modeling generous giving and living that results in eternal impact!

Many thanks to LifeGuide share the blessing program and your staff, who stepped up and contributed in providing $200 in gift cards for a mom and her three children just a day or so before Christmas. I am now working part-time at our church and we received a request just days before Christmas from a mom who was depending on her children’s father for Christmas gifts. As she got word that he was not going to be able to provide, she was sad to think of her children not having gifts on Christmas and turned to the church (although she is not a participant at our church). While we had many programs to provide gifts for needy families earlier in December, that close to Christmas, we did not have the resources to do so. We checked with other organizations to see if they had anything available and they did not. Knowing that your company has programs to help in times of need, I thought to give you a call just to see if you had any resources. Brittany took my call and was able to quickly pull together some funds to share. I likewise contributed my portion of Share the Blessing that I had held onto looking/waiting for the right opportunity. While we don’t know this mom’s situation, we do know that we were able to do our part to share the blessing and the love of Christ and that’s all we are called to do. Thank you for helping to meet this need.

There was only one family that came to mind when we received your letter in the mail. There is a couple in our church that is going through a really tough time. Her husband is not doing well at all, and hospice has been called in. She also has some health issues and just came through covid all while helping with the care for her husband. This family doesn’t have a lot and our church has been helping them out during this difficult time. We have decided to match your donation and mailed it to them anonymously. Thanks again for doing this.

We gave the enclosed $50 to a single mother of three children in our congregation. She has had many setbacks in life, has no outside support, deals with health issues, and has a son who is autistic. Thank you for giving us this opportunity.

Upon receiving the “Sharing the Blessing” we decided to share it with a single mom who is going through a divorce and court custody hearings for her young son. Her husband became deeply involved in a cult resulting in the divorce. She travels every other weekend to North Carolina for court hearings and child visitation rights for her two-year-old son. This has become quite a financial burden for her and her family. We decided to personally match the “Blessing” with another single mother of two who just recently went through a divorce. She is financially struggling to make her rent payments and pay living expenses for the home. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Upon receiving the fifty dollars, I knew immediately who I wanted to help! A woman I used to work with. She has finally gotten the strength to leave a horrible marriage. She has two grade-school boys and financially she is really struggling. She was so touched to receive the card and the money and she knows there are people out there pulling for her and praying for her. The Share the Blessing campaign couldn’t have come at a better time. God bless all of you – this is a wonderful thing you are doing.

[G] and I “minister” at the Center for Champions in Harrisburg once a week. Center for Champions is a ministry to inner-city children that meets once a week offering STEM activities, games, snacks, and Bible lessons. Each student is paired with an adult to mentor, encourage and build a Christian relationship. [G] is paired with an eleven-year-old girl named [A]. (I help where needed usually with games.) [A] comes from a broken home and her mother works sometimes, but not steadily. Recently her mom called the Center requesting money. We did not know of her request and were only made aware of it after we had decided that [A]’s family would be the benefactors of Share the Blessing. We matched your gift, put it in the envelope with the card and gave it to the program director to give to [A]’s family. We wanted to remain anonymous. We don’t know the reaction of [A]’s mother but are confident of her appreciation.

Thank you for allowing me to participate in “Share the Blessing.” It is always such a joy to see the look on someone’s face when presented with this gift. I’m finally remembering to tell you to whom I gave this blessing. I stuck the card/money in my purse with the expectation of giving it when I would be at the grocery store or someplace where there would be a lot of people. However, every time I was in that environment, I forgot about the gift in my purse. So, one day a young man in his early 20s came into my office. He recently began working with the worship team and soundboard at our church and has been putting in a lot of volunteer hours. He willingly took on this role when the individual who was being paid to oversee this position stepped down. Anyway, the Lord impressed on my heart to give him the gift. I hesitated, wondering if I should (how stupid on my part), so I waited until the next day as I knew he would be back to finish some work he had started. The next day when he came into my office, I gave him the gift and he was totally blown away and so appreciative. He is such a humble, diligent, hardworking individual. I was so blessed to see his reaction. Thank you, again, for allowing me to not only bless someone but to be blessed as well. You guys’ rock!!!

I recently retired from a long-term care facility here in Carlisle. Throughout the pandemic I have watched the nursing staff struggle to provide care to our most vulnerable elderly residents. The certified nursing assistants in the facility provide the most hands-on care and arguably have one of the hardest jobs. There is one nursing assistant that came to mind when I was provided this opportunity. She rides an electric scooter to work each day (as she is unable to afford a car). She is a hard worker, punctual and is an asset to the nursing department and the residents who she cares for. I matched the money that LifeGuide sent and mailed her the card anonymously. I feel blessed to have played a small role in trying to make someone else’s day a little brighter! Thank you and God Bless.

Thank you for the envelope and the opportunity to surprise someone with an unexpected blessing. One of my volunteer jobs is to set up homes for refugee families from Asia and Africa fully vetted by the U.S. government and brought to the Harrisburg area by Catholic Charities. Most have fled their native countries because of violence and possibly walked for months to find a safe place in a refugee camp where they may have lived for many years until finally getting a chance to come to the United States. Before they arrive, [N] and I gather furniture, beds, linens, toiletries, cleaning supplies, kitchen ware, and everything needed to furnish a house or apartment for a family. On December 16, we were setting up a home in Harrisburg for a Sudanese family of 5. [N] rented a U-Haul, and we filled the truck and my van with all of the furniture and other items. [N] picked up a 16-year-old refugee boy named [B] to help him carry the heavier furniture. After we set up everything in the house and were about to leave, the battery of the U-Haul was dead. We didn’t have jumper cables, and U-Haul said they would send someone out in 2 hours. Since it was 7:30 at night, I offered to take the boy home so he could do his homework. Since we had worked through the dinner hour, I asked if he was hungry. He said he really was, so I found a McDonalds on Paxton Street and told him to order whatever he wanted. He held his bag of food like a treasure. As we drove to his home in Steelton, he told me that he was from the Republic of Central Africa, and he was in 9th grade since he failed all his classes the year before. (Common problem until they learn English). He lives with his sister and his aunt who has raised him since he was 4 years old. We did not discuss his parents as they were probably killed. He politely thanked me for the ride and the food. His aunt is providing for him and his sister the best she can. I gave her the card and money which I’m sure she greatly appreciated.

Thank you for letting us be a part of the Share the Blessing for 2022. Both my husband and I came up with the name Living Waters of Hope which is a ministry for women in abusive relationships. The founder of this ministry is Diane who lives with her husband in Oregon. Several years ago, while her husband was working at Camp Hebron, Diane met at churches in the Harrisburg area to introduce a program for women in abusive relationships. Now back in Oregon, she continues her ministry of Living Waters of Hope. I asked Diane if there is a woman who would benefit from the Share the Blessing, and she immediately thought of a woman in Pennsylvania. She added that the majority of women in her program are here in PA. We decided the best way to handle this blessing would be for me to send the money to Diane and she in turn would get a cashier’s check. This way I would not be breaking any confidentiality between Diane and this woman, and the check would not look as if the money is coming from the ministry. To add to the blessing we added $50. Diane is sending the card with her explanation of this blessing and the check for $100 to this person.

[V] and I were part of the Share the Blessing campaign this year. We thank all of you for allowing us to participate. Our church is part of a ministry that offers food, counseling, and a variety of help to people in need. The ministry is supported by a thrift store that sells many different donated items. Occasionally cash is needed to help pay rent or other bills. We gave the cash to meet needs as they arose. Counselors and other staff will dispense the funds as needed. They were very grateful as were the two of us. God bless you all as you meet financial needs as well as other issues beyond your business.

Last summer I met [J] at a food and diaper giveaway we do in Carlisle. Since we met, I have spent time with [J] and have gotten to appreciate him as a friend. He shares an apartment, his roommate is often unable to get out of bed and in need of care. He is the selfless caregiver! Money is tight for these two men as they are on social security. There are expenses that must come out of pocket and between the two incomes they barely get by. When I saw [J] after receiving LifeGuide’s gift to share, I could think of no better place to give than to these men! They extend their thanks to LifeGuide for this provision.

Since settling into our “new home” here in Eagle River Alaska, [T] and I have hooked up with a great church and in the last several months, a LifeGroup that meets weekly. The group is made up of a half dozen older couples and about 3 or 4 younger singles (an interesting but special group). Some are planning for retirement, while others are in the military (big base nearby) and one member is a single mom of one little boy. This mom has been through a lot over the past year including a broken marriage, having to live in her mother’s small apartment, going back to work and of course her son who is struggling. When your letter arrived, this mom was the first to come to our mind. We decided to add another $50 to yours and went to visit her at her place of work today (she manages a small nutrition store in town). Tonight will be their first night in their own apartment. She is excited! She has been collecting furniture, etc. to be ready for this day and is still in much need. We told her we were praying for her and her son and wanted to help a little. She had customers waiting so we gave her a hug, the card, and left before she opened the card. We pray she will be encouraged! Thanks for initiating this opportunity! Another great reminder of the joy of giving!

I gave your gift to a handicapped lady, and she was so appreciative! She is a lady who used to live near me and at Christmastime, the Lord put her on my heart. I wanted to give her a gift but didn’t know how to go about it. Soon after, she came to a food and toiletry giveaway at my church. I told her I had been thinking of her and wanted to give her something. Soon afterward, I saw her ringing the Salvation Army bell, wrapped in a blanket, at the entrance to a grocery store. I chatted with her and went on my way. After I came home, I thought that I should have given her another gift. Your gift arrived and I immediately knew where I was to give it! I added some to it and took it to her home. She thanked me and told me God must have put her on my heart, because she is saving for a needed repair to her van, as well as a new wheelchair, which Medicare will only partially cover. Thank you so much for using your blessings to be a blessing to others.

We took our family to Chili’s for supper, and we gave the money as a gift to the overworked waitress, in addition to a big tip. Hopefully she had a big smile on her face the rest of the evening.

I passed the $50.00 on to a longtime friend at a monthly lunch get together on January 26, 2022. I told him not to open it until he got home. I would have liked to send this gift anonymously, but I do not know his current address. He was the first person I thought of when receiving the “Share the Blessing” gift. He is a retired Air Force veteran and over the years has experienced personal, medical, and financial problems. He was married and is the father of two children, one son and one daughter. His other son passed away at age eleven from leukemia. The note I enclosed simply read “Received this from my financial advisor’s “Share the Blessing” campaign. Thought of you first. Hope you can do some good with it”. Your Friend.

I have not been able to Share the Blessing with the person God led me to. I have the card ready to give her, but due to cold weather and Covid, I have not been able to be with her. She will get it soon. God kept bringing up the name of an older widow I know. She does not have much, but continually gives to her missionary daughter, husband, and family. She goes without and doesn’t put herself first. She definitely deserves a blessing, something just for her. Thank you again for allowing me to be a part of Share the Blessing. 

We gave the $50 to a Haitian immigrant who lost his job because his Employment Authorization Card expired on January 27. He is unable to keep working while his employment authorization forms, and green card application are in the process of gaining approval. His American wife is a kindergarten teacher, but without his income it is difficult to keep his household running and provide some support for his single mom and siblings in Haiti. He was very appreciative of this gesture of blessing.

The recipient of our “Share the Blessing” is a local woman named [E] who recently reached out to a Facebook group I had joined where people can donate items that might be of use to someone else. She lost her living space and is currently staying in a hotel and was reaching out to see if anyone had an air fryer to donate so she could cook some meals for herself instead of all the prepackaged microwave food she has been eating. I dropped the envelope off at her place of employment and hope it helps with securing a new place to live so she no longer feels homeless.

Thank you for allowing my family to partner with LifeGuide in the 9th Annual Share the Blessing campaign. This year I reached out to a friend who knew a family in need that could use the encouragement. The husband who I will refer to as [E] is an immigrant. Due to struggles renewing his green card, he and his wife were evicted from their place of residence. In addition, he and his wife, [B], own a business that has struggled to survive COVID which put them in a tough financial position which as forced them to consider the future of their business. This weekend, I was able to place the card with the gift enclosed in their hands. They were very grateful. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of LifeGuide being a blessing to someone.

We decided to give the money to family friends in the area that are dealing with cancer for the husband, [B]. Mom is [J], and they have two daughters. [B] is going through aggressive treatments in Buffalo every other week, things are looking positive so far. They are a great family, and they have a lot of expenses as you can imagine. Prayers would be appreciated as they go through these trials together. Thanks so much for this wonderful gift that will help a family in need.

We are so honored to be associated with LifeGuide and its unwavering commitment to working on behalf of others to seek first His kingdom. Your Share the Blessing program provides a unique opportunity for us to be included in your benevolence. In our journeys, with the “Blessing” envelope in hand, we crossed paths with many people, but never felt a spiritual tug on our hearts. After Christmas and the New Year had passed, it became quite clear to us that the envelope and its contents were intended by God to be shared with a family not far from our doorstep. We have known this family since 1989. During that time, their farmhouse caught on fire due to a lightning strike. Their home became uninhabitable, and they lost many of their belongings. After many months, they were able to return. Shortly after, the father received a cancer diagnosis and passed. The family was left with great financial struggles. Mother, sister, brothers, and nephews relocated from their homes to combine resources and protect this widow and her son from facing potential homelessness. Since then, the family has continued to face various trials, including ongoing financial instability, the death of family members, and the imprisonment of the son. We have spoken of our faith to the family and pray that they will come to know the love of our LORD. LifeGuide’s unexpected blessing served as a physical reminder of God’s continuing care, love, and provision for them. We pray that it will open the doors of their hearts to receive His salvation. Thank you for the kindness and generosity of LifeGuide and for allowing us to partake in your stewardship by “Sharing the Blessing.”

I have my feedback for our Share the Blessing gift [L] and I gave to a former coworker. My coworkers and I heard that she recently had to deal with some medical issues and had an unexpected hospitalization. We understood that she had some financial needs, so my coworkers collected some donations to give to her. [L] and I then thought about contributing our Share the Blessing gift to her. We added some of our own funds to it and passed it along through another coworker who visited her periodically. He told me that the former coworker shed tears of gratitude for the gift. She also sent back a card expressing her gratitude. Our Share the Blessing gift was a real help to her.

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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