Share the Blessing 2023: Stories of Hope

February 27, 2023   |   Impact

Over the past nine 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 clients a cash gift (usually around $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.

Today, we’d like to share the stories we received from this year’s Share the Blessing participants. While the names have been edited to protect the identities of those who participated, these stories are mostly unedited (except for instances of clarity) 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!

[E], an industrious and eager young man of small stature, worked at the checkout at Giant grocery store in Greencastle, PA. As I would come through the line to pay for my groceries, he would often kindly ask about my day, my family, and how life, in general, was going for me. He seemed to have a keen interest in people…As time went on, I felt somewhat akin to this clerk as we would share from time to time about weather news and other small tidbits within the community. 

Then came the letter from the LifeGuide Team. My mind immediately went to [E]. Something about his mannerisms and honest eye contact led me to believe he might be a person of interest! What would the Lord have me to do? My husband and I prayed that the Lord would surely show who would benefit from the gift of money.

I knew [E] worked only on evening and night shifts since he shared that he was working to save money to continue his college education. 

I laid out the proverbial ” fleece”. Since our church has an “offer a free Bible” program, I prayed that the Lord would help me with discernment by offering [E] a free Bible. If, indeed, [E] accepted a Bible, that would fill the requirement to be the receiver of the $75! Friday evening came and with that a trip to Giant store! As I entered the self-opening doors, I immediately spied [E]at the far checkout. As I browsed about the fresh produce, I breathed a prayer for wisdom.

No one was in line behind me, so I felt at ease for small talk. He asked about our family’s Christmas plans. I asked about his plans. He replied that he was spending Christmas with his grandmother. I replied that was very kind and thoughtful of him. “Our church offers free Bibles. Would you enjoy having one?” I asked, as I held up the black book with the gold letters “Holy Bible”. 

“Yes…absolutely”! he replied. I immediately reached into my purse for the wonderful envelope that read “Just Because”. I handed it to him and said with a smile, “Someone has asked me to give this to you.” [E] opened it. He gave a sincere thank you, and I exited the door. [E] stood speechless, staring after me, envelope, and money in hand. 

We were excited to receive $75 from LifeGuide to take part in the Share the Blessing campaign and immediately began praying about who to share the money with. We quickly got our answer. [M] was scheduled to preach at a little church plant in western Pennsylvania the Sunday before Christmas. The pastor of the church grew up in the former steel mill town, did prison time for drug-related charges, became a Christian, studied for the ministry, and has now returned to his dying hometown with the gospel. He and his wife have spent their own money to buy needed items for the tiny new church and have sacrificed financially in many ways to live in the impoverished town so they can be near the people they’re witnessing to. Although they’re struggling themselves, they (along with their 2 young children) warmly opened their home to us for a meal when we visited, and we were thrilled to gift them the Share the Blessing money when we left. They were so thankful! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to bless and encourage this dear couple just before Christmas! We’re grateful to be part of a financial planning institution that values giving.

I was able to pass along card with $75 to an older gentleman who was outside Walmart who indicated they were homeless and hungry. Thank you for your help. Merry Christmas 🎄

We left our $75 in the doorstep of a young family who has 3 boys under 5. Hopefully it will bless them this season.

[P] and I have been to Ukraine several times over the last 25 years and have several friends there. We have been heartbroken over the war that is ravaging that nation and is creating so much hardship for the people who live there as well as those who have been displaced. When we heard about the challenges facing a Ukrainian friend and his family who have been forced to move to the United States, we began asking God to provide for them. As a result, God has blessed us with some unexpected gifts this year and we have been able to share these blessings with them. Share the Blessing is just another answer to that prayer!

[We] selected [V] as the recipient of your money. I always see her under the railroad bridge by the old Harrisburg Post Office/Bus-Train Station area when driving home from the plant each night.

What a surprise to find $75 in the mail! After reading the insert and instructions, I want to say “thank you” for sharing the blessings in this way, I have a lot of admiration for that kind of exercise of gratitude. We have never had that happen before. We prayed and asked the Lord who to give the money to and before long a single gal came to mind. She has had a rough year although the Lord always met her needs. But she took a hit in work because of Covid regulations and we were pleased to give to her in honor of her obedience to her convictions. She graciously received it.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to “Share the Blessing”! This year we decided to bless a young man in Africa and his family. [P], once himself an orphan on the streets of Soweto, Africa is saving children from the same situation he was in as a child. We support the LovingHandsofGod ministry that was birthed from a dream our brother-in-law had, that God wanted him to build an orphanage in Africa. [S] stepped out believing that God would make a way, and He did.

[P] was contacted to be the lead on this project. For the last two years, [P] was instrumental in the construction and running of the orphanage that originally was to house 64 children. This year, he rescued 40 more children from the streets of Soweto which gives them a total of 101 children. [P] keeps all those who sponsor a child informed about the orphanage with a very active page on Facebook, Loving Hands of God Kenya project.

[P] and his wife, [B] just gave birth to a precious little girl, [L]. [P] is a very humble man and is truly the hands and feet of Jesus. He has a heart for the lost, the orphans and widows (of which he has employed at the orphanage). We couldn’t hand the envelope to [P], so we sent a picture of each page and the money. His response was:

“Oooh my goodness, this is a big surprise. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much. My wife too said asante (Thank you). God bless you and [J]. May He also meet your needs according to his riches in glory. Have a blessed day – [P]”

So, I can assure you it was a surprise and a very welcomed blessing for [P] and his family! God bless you and hope all at LifeGuide have a blessed Christmas.

This morning as I set out on a walk there was a young lady waiting by the road for a tow truck for her car. She said she was ok but wouldn’t be able to make it to work that day because of this. I texted my husband that she was the one who needed the blessing! He ran down the road and delivered the envelope so that she would know that she was cared for!

We gave our blessing envelope to a couple at church who were dealing with COVID. Due to their finances, she also had to work to make ends meet. They gave us a Thank-You note stating how they appreciated the much-needed finances…

Thanks for the $75.00 to be given to someone as an extra blessing this Christmas season. We learned of [J]’s family. [J], at a very young age lost his 2-year-old and 4-year-old brothers in a house fire. His father was an alcoholic and had a dysfunctional home life. Now in his mid-twenties, he is married and has a 15-month-old son, and the family is really struggling to make ends meet. When we learned of their situation, we added to the $75.00 and blessed their family for Christmas.

A family moved to Fairfield from Alabama several years ago hoping for a better life… because the husband had a dream in which God told him to move his family to Gettysburg. Without hesitation he bought a car and drove his family here…without having registered the car, a license plate or his having a driver’s license. Miracle of miracles he did not get stopped on the trip north. Once here they moved into the Homeless Shelter in Gettysburg and from there to Fairfield where they were our church. We have helped them off and on through the years even though they have chosen not to attend Fairfield Mennonite.

Eventually she received her GED, a driver’s license and got a job. In time he also found a job, but it has been rough sledding for them. Earlier this fall she asked if I could help them with gas money as their car had broken down and couldn’t pass inspection, requiring about a thousand dollars’ worth of repairs. On top of that expense, she needed to rent a car if she was to keep her job. I then helped them with gas money for several months.

I received your letter with the no strings attached money several days before she knocked on the door to let me know she had paid off the car repairs and no longer needed to rent another vehicle. I told her how proud I was of her for not giving up after he lost his job again and things had gotten really hard for them. I was delighted to give them your gift plus an additional $60 I added to yours. We ended her visit with a tearful hug.

Thank you for allowing me to do something special for them, especially right before Christmas.

Thanks for allowing us to be a part of this wonderful event. It allows us to also contribute by adding to your gift. We would not be able, otherwise, to give to our recipient. She is old school, and as such, does not like to accept things without giving in return. She is a lady in her mid-eighties who lost her husband a few years ago and all her life has taken care of a mentally challenged daughter on very little income. And she has recently returned home from having broken her hip. Thanks again for this opportunity.

Thank-you for the opportunity to Share the Blessing. My husband and I deliberated over who should receive it. Honestly, at first, we thought of people we knew that could use it. However, we couldn’t decide who specifically. We didn’t want to give it to a stranger that may use it to get drunk or get drugs. Christmas was getting closer and closer, and we still didn’t decide.

Finally, the day before Christmas I was determined to share it. [S] dropped me off at Dollar General and I “shopped” for a recipient. So many shoppers, one wearing flip-flops and shorts, another needing a shave. I couldn’t choose. Finally, I told God, whoever was behind me in line when checked out would be the one. I paid for my items, turned around and handed the envelope to a mother and her teenage daughter. Then I quickly made my exit. I jumped in [S]’s truck and tried to “hide”. I saw them come out and look around, but they didn’t see me.

This was the funny part—as you know, God has a sense of humor—we went home and the next day I looked for the items I bought while at the Dollar General. We couldn’t find them anywhere. I realized I left them at Dollar General when I made my break away. We thought, oh well, it’s Christmas, it wasn’t much and hopefully another person would be blessed. And… maybe someone at LifeGuide will get a smile. Thank you again!

We were so pleased to be given the opportunity to Share the Blessing. On Christmas Eve after our special service at church we shared the Blessing with our friend, [J]. We have known her for many years and reconnected with her when we started to attend Community Christian Fellowship. She is a widow and one of the best mothers and grandmothers we know. Her income is limited but her service for the Lord and others is very large. She is very active in the church and helps others in many ways. She was in tears when she opened the card. She has helped so many others, driving them to church, organizing a lady’s night out once a month at a local restaurant, working every Wednesday night with the young boys and girls and so much more. Thanks again for letting us Share the Blessing.

A few days before Christmas, [D] and I were at the grocery store. We had been carrying our Share the Blessing envelope along with us during the holiday season waiting until we felt a nudge from God, where he was asking us to provide the envelope to someone. Many years ago, someone from our church had talked about a God pocket, where they kept money in their pocket to give to someone as God moved them. We have loved that picture and tried to do that in our lives too. This envelope was something we really felt connected to doing and letting the Lord lead us.

That day at the grocery store it was a crazy busy day, but as we were passing by one of the checkout lanes, we heard a young child crying and his Momma was trying to sooth him. We could see that she didn’t have many groceries to buy and her son was asking her for something. You could see in her face how much she loved her son and was trying to explain that she couldn’t get it for him. We passed by, but immediately felt that nudge that only the Lord can give you and to go back to them. We just quietly went over and asked if we could give her this envelope. She was so surprised, but very happy to accept it. We left then and let her continue with her checkout.

We absolutely love those times to be able to bless others without waiting for any response. Made us have an even more blessed day, holding that picture in our thoughts.

The ‘Share the Blessing’ donation was given to my mom. However, on her behalf, this is what was done with it. A dear friend began a journey of physical pain and suffering two years ago. During these years, we’ve prayed for healing, sought God for understanding, and cried over the slow loss of function in both legs. Doctors had suggested early on that maybe his neuropathy could heal. That hope was their comfort. In their most recent Christmas letter to us, our dear friend wrote that it is time for them to “consider a wheelchair-accessible van.” Our hearts broke when we read this. Perhaps the message had not intended to signal acceptance of this reality — but it did. When LifeGuide asked who might need an ‘unexpected blessing,’ the choice for us was obvious.

I wanted to share with you all what my husband and I did with the “Share the Blessing” campaign money that was sent to us. We have a son who has Cerebral Palsy and is in a wheelchair. I had recently seen on Facebook a fundraiser for a family with a little girl in a wheelchair. They are/were in need of money to help purchase a wheelchair-accessible van to be able to transport their daughter. I personally know the importance and need for this. My daughter knows this family personally from when they were in school and said what a beautiful family they are. I reached out to them via Facebook messenger for their home address as I do not like the fact that these fundraiser’s take a portion of the monies donated. The money that was sent to us from LifeGuide was given to this family along with an added donation personally from us. Thank you for the opportunity to be able to bless someone with this gift. I pray you all had a beautiful Christmas and have a very Happy, Healthy New Year.

Thanks for the opportunity to share a blessing! After praying about who the Lord would have me give money to, I thought of a co-worker who has had multiple deaths in her family from shootings and drugs. She moved her children from a large city to get away from the violence. Her boyfriend has PTSD from being shot. Plus he has a mental illness, and there are different issues with her children. She has no car and walks about a mile to and from work unless an employee can give her a ride. She is very humble and expresses her love for Jesus. I added some money to the Blessing envelope, and, after Christmas, I talked with her. She shared more about her circumstances and said she appreciated being able to talk with someone. When I gave her the envelope, she cried, and asked if I had spoken with another staff member whom she had confided in. I replied that no I had not. I was talking to Jesus and He put her on my heart. She said her family had not had Christmas (implying there was no extra money to spend). I feel very blessed to have been able to bless her in a small way. Thank you so much!

We want to thank LifeGuide for selecting us to be a part of the Share the Blessing Campaign this year! Prior to receiving the blessing envelope, I was thinking of a way to bless a family of one of my students for Christmas. The mother of my student is a single mom and is working long hours to provide for her family. I did not want to make it uncomfortable for her, so we added to the envelope to pay for one week of school/daycare tuition and submitted anonymously. Later that day, the secretary sent me an e-mail letting me know that she received the money in her account. The mother was overwhelmed with gratitude and asked to thank the donor.

We decided to give the gift to [C] who’s a single mom that works two jobs to make ends meet. She has a son with Cystic Fibrosis. Right before Christmas he became sick and was in the hospital for nearly 2 weeks. Fortunately, he was released from the hospital a few days before Christmas and was able to be at home with his mom. He was also born with a fatty liver and is currently on the list for a liver transplant. Upon giving her the card, I told her that it was given to us to pass on and that there was $75 inside. Her mouth dropped open and she exclaimed, “shut the front door”! She gave us hugs and told us we were great, but we didn’t do anything, except to deliver what was given to use. Thanks for asking us to pay-it-forward.

[We] want to thank LifeGuide for the opportunity to “Share the Blessing” with the funds provided. We know a family whose 5-year-old son had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. As you can imagine, both parents spent several weeks in the hospital during and post-surgery. Several families decided to bless them by paying their mortgage for the month while they were unable to work. The gift from LifeGuide was included as we raised enough to pay their mortgage, plus some additional funds for them. Unfortunately, they soon found that the tumor had metastasized, and is not curable. We will continue to be supporting them as they are on this journey. Thank you again for the opportunity we had to help make this happen.

We are so grateful that you gave us the opportunity to be part of Share the Blessing! We were so excited to see an opportunity to share a monetary blessing! We too have been recipients of some unexpected blessings in the past and this opportunity was wonderful! My sister and brother-in-law were sharing with us the story of a man, previously from Liberia, who is working at the retirement community where my parents live. He was stranded at the community one day as the person who normally transported him to and from work had a family emergency. My sister and brother-in-law drove him to his home in Harrisburg the day he was stranded. The Liberian gentleman became so excited to find out that my brother-in-law is a retired United Methodist pastor, as he was educated at United Methodist schools in Liberia. A friendly, “family” connection was started. [We] felt led to pass on this monetary gift to this gentleman as he is working very hard to remain in the states, to obtain a driver’s license and car. The gentleman was very surprised and blessed to receive this monetary gift. Words cannot express how grateful we are that you blessed us in being a part of your very generous hearts at this most blessed time of the year.

This was a challenging task because I was traveling over the holidays and didn’t have any clear ideas of who in my sphere of influence would be in need and would accept it. However, I was certain that somewhere during my journey, it would become clear. Just before the New Year, I visited a relative in a town where I grew up. In explaining my mission, my relative immediately knew an individual who could use such an unexpected blessing. This older man was a cancer survivor several times over who took on whatever work was available to him, and he was capable of performing. Often, that was part-time work, but no matter what he did, he took pride in making a contribution and working diligently. Still, he struggled to make ends meet. My relative delivered to him the unexpected blessing and the recipient conveyed how appreciative he was. It meant that for that month, he would be able to keep up with his rising heating costs. Thank you for including me in this beautiful blessing and for offering such a program.

A woman I have recently gotten to know told a story about a family she knows who foster’s children. This family has five children of their own and currently one foster child. A week before Christmas, they were contacted about fostering two more children, ages 5 and 10. The agency had found placement for the four older children but was having a hard time finding a place for these two – they did not want to separate them because the 10-year-old had cared for the younger child since birth. Even though it was the week before Christmas, even though their small home was already full with six children and two adults, they said yes, they would take them. They welcomed them, made room for them, and loved them.

I finally had my answer as to who could use an unexpected blessing. I contacted the woman who told the story, explained what I wanted to do, asked if she would help me and she agreed. I asked that I remain anonymous. The very next day, she called me to tell me she had delivered the gift. When she gave the parents the envelope and they opened it, there were tears and smiles, and many thank you’s. This small gift truly made a difference to the family and to me. Thank you for sharing the blessings!

We shared the card anonymously, along with some extra cash, with a widow at our church who has had many challenges with her home. We heard that she is in need of insulation and a variety of other repairs. Her heating bills are very high. 

There is an elderly couple who run a booth at a flea market. I had been looking for a specific item at yard sales, antique markets, and flea markets… unsuccessfully. Upon meeting the couple, I asked if they could point me to a place or event where I might find the item. They guided me to a few other booths, but no luck. It was evident that they were kind and gentle people, but up-in-years, managing health concerns, and struggling to make ends meet. Weeks later, while cleaning a corner of my garage, I found items that I had been saving for children and grandchildren but were considered by most of them to be ‘junk’ and of little interest to their ‘technology’ generations. I took those items and ‘donated’ them to the elderly couple. They were thrilled and offered to pay me. Of course, I declined, and have since taken many other items for them to sell. When I received the LifeGuide Share-the-Blessing, I knew where it would be welcomed with genuine elation. And it was. Thank You, LifeGuide, for the opportunity to deliver joy and relief to a couple who needed it.


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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