I was with my daughter a couple of weeks ago, driving my 3 Grandchildren to school.
On the way I asked if we could stop at Starbucks and get a Latte. We had a few extra minutes, so she got in the drive-thru line and waited while each car placed their order. When we reached the window the young man said, “the car ahead of you paid for your latte.” With jaws dropped, we looked at each other. Really? This had never happened to either of us and that simple gesture gave us an “Aha” moment. As we drove away, I said to my daughter, “You’ll have to go back and do the same thing.” “I will mom, I promise.“ Later that day she stopped at the same Starbucks and she, in turn, paid for the car behind. When she got back to the house the first thing she said was, “Mom, it felt so great to do that.” I was so proud of her & and the reward she felt from giving. She gave anonymously, knowing the person couldn’t pay her back. I’ve found that giving like that creates a “heart opening” experience for the giver.
For the past several years I have had the opportunity to watch friends, fellow team members at O’Connor’s, and colleagues, show just how big their hearts are by being great examples of selfless giving. Carrie, one of our outstanding Funeral Directors & her story in particular come to mind. If you remember a couple of blogs back Carrie shared about how she gave all of us at work the opportunity to donate clothing, linens, food, water and a myriad of other essentials to a family who lost their home in the Silver Fire. I was able to donate some things and I loved the feeling I got by giving back. Believe me, there’s nothing like it!
My point is this: Thanksgiving is a time when families gather and give thanks for the blessings they have been given throughout the year: a new job, restored health, a home, a burden lifted or a second chance. But as I ponder the word Thanksgiving, I see an opportunity for a different meaning; one that can sooth a lonely soul, comfort the weary, feed the hungry and bring worth back to a broken spirit. If you take the word “Thanksgiving” at face value, you can make such a huge difference in the lives of others! And the gift of giving and receiving is two-fold.
If you would like to share this feeling of giving with me, I invite you to pick just one of the very worthy & local causes below to GIVE to.
A new unwrapped toy for an underprivileged child, a coat you haven’t worn in ages, or food and clothing to supply our local food bank. They would all make a significant difference in the lives of those who have extreme needs.
Coat Drive for Welcome Inn – O’Connor Mortuary is officially sponsoring a coat drive for this wonderful & local volunteer organization. Coats of any size can be brought to our Laguna Hills location and dropped off with our lovely receptionist, Diana. Click here to learn more.
South County Outreach – You can donate food, clothing or time to this wonderful organization.
Orange County Fire Authority – “Sparks of Love” – A toy drive benefiting under-privileged children. Every fire station in Orange County is a drop-off location & they ask that the toys be new and unwrapped.
Age Well Senior Services – “Meals on Wheels”. – $25 will give a senior 25 meals.