Tag Archives: Philanthropy

Courage at Twilight: A Warm Blanket and a Smile

You may remember our homemade greeting cards made from pressed leaves and flower petals, with the message “You Are Loved” artistically rendered inside.  The cards were included in humanitarian hygiene packages sent to refugees around the world.  The same NGO, Lifting Hands International, combined with our local Church leaders to organize a blanket drive.  On a Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., we could drop off new blankets, which would be distributed to refugees the world over.  After Mom announced told Dad and me that she wanted to participate, she and Dad drove off to Target.  Leaning heavily on their shopping carts, they shuffled the miles and miles to the back stacks of the bedding section.  Mom picked out a fluffy gray fleece, queen-sized, wrapped in a charcoal ribbon, and brought it home with a smile.  Before the day of the drive arrived, the community had already dropped off over 100 blankets.  At 11:00, Mom trundled off to her trusty Subaru, hugging her blanket, and drove off to make her contribution.  I felt very proud of her.  A blanket is a small thing.  A thousand blankets are a thousand small things.  And every small thing matters.  But there is nothing small about my mother’s heart.

Afghan refugees with their new warm blankets.

(Photo from Lifting Hands International.  Used pursuant to the Fair Use doctrine.)

Blanket Drive Update: Lifting Hands International received 414 blankets from Mom’s community for Afghan refugees.  Here are photos of the drive organizers and blankets, used with permission.

Stake Blanket Drive2    Stake Blanket Drive1

Courage at Twilight: Tithes and Offerings

Tithing

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, said Yahweh to Israel.  Thousands of years later, paying one-tenth of one’s increase continues to be the standard in my Church, a law both temporal and spiritual.  Temporal to help the poor, and to build schools and churches and temples.  Spiritual to show faith and obedience, spiritual to turn outward to others, spiritual to be sanctified through sacrifice.  Tithing and other offerings are used for Church buildings and programs, for Church institutions of higher education and missionary work, to help the poor, and to provide humanitarian assistance worldwide.  Every December, members of our Church are invited to meet with the local church leader, the Bishop, for a Tithing Settlement, where we discuss in private our tithe-paying status.  Mom and Dad put their names on the sign-up sheet for after Sunday services.  I followed the unconventional step of asking if I could join in their appointment, though we tithe our incomes separately and privately.  The Bishop thanked us for our offerings and reiterated Jehovah’s promise that for those who give to the Church, God will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing upon us that we will not have room to receive.  Our vessels will be full to overflowing.  We consider ourselves greatly blessed.  And we are grateful.

 

(Photo from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)