Just Give

by | Nov 1, 2013 | On a Personal Note

Written by Beth Latham

How many times have you been asked to give today? Every day we are asked to give. Can you give me a hand? Let’s give a round of applause to … Will you give me a glass of water? Would you like to give to ABC Charity? But do we really stop and think about what it truly means to give? Webster’s Dictionary has many definitions of the word Give, but my favorite is; “to enter wholeheartedly into an activity”. The activity can be giving our time for a community event, our expertise for a special project, our resources in helping a neighbor, or our money to a cause close to us. But when any of these things are done wholeheartedly we are impacting lives and our community in ways greater than we could ever imagine. It doesn’t matter if you can give $1 or $1,000, 10 minutes or 10 hours; when you give of yourself your impact will be felt.
It is my belief that we are all born with a heart to give. We do not want to see people in pain, in struggle or in need. When we see this there is an urge inside of us to give. In a 2010 Harvard Business School paper, research suggests that generosity seems to generate positive feelings in people, and that using resources to help others is consistently associated with greater happiness. While this study focused on financial giving, generosity can assume many forms. I believe that this principle of happiness extends beyond financial giving to all forms of giving.
We have a community that is full of givers. You may not realize it, but most of the people you interact with on a daily basis have a giving heart. Did you know that your Bank teller gives a portion of her paycheck so that those without preventative diabetic healthcare can receive help at the River Valley Christian Clinic? Or that the employees at the Deltic Timber sawmill in Ola have nearly 100% participation in United Way giving? Or that for years Firestone employees have given their time at The Arts Center of the Arkansas River Valley with projects such as painting, landscaping and cleaning at their facility? ANO and Dow Chemical employees were instrumental in having the first Habitat for Humanity for Pope County house completed. Next time you go to the bank, drive down Main Street or through the River Valley think about the giving hearts of all those and thousands like them throughout Pope, Johnson and Yell Counties and know that while you may not “see” their giving, they are making an impact in your community. An impact that you can make as well by giving wholeheartedly into an activity that speaks to you.

At River Valley United Way, one of our objectives is to understand the present community conditions and needs; to recognize the underlying problem of issues so that we can make improvements that have long lasting impact, not just quick fixes. River Valley United Way has focused their efforts on having the most people in our community reach their full potential through the issues surrounding education, income stability and health. These areas are the building blocks everyone needs for their best individual lives which in turn creates the best possible community. We can have the greatest impact on the most number of people in our communities when we all come together to make the vision a reality.
That’s how we LIVE UNITED. We come together, to make the biggest impact we can, for the most people we can, right here in our community and we do it by giving. Giving of our financial resources, giving of our time, giving our voice to individuals or groups who have none, we give. Not because we expect something in return, we give because to do otherwise would be to deny who we are as humans and who we are as a community.
The next time someone asks you to give, don’t think of it as an obligation, or a burden. Rather, think of giving as a privilege. Consider it an honor that someone wants you to have a hand in making our community a better place. If you need help finding a place or a way to give…just ask. Challenges and issues in our community abound, thus creating amazing opportunities for giving. Just ask, and when you are asked to give. Just Give.

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