Let's call her by the name of Su.
She lost her job a few years ago because of a company reorg. It was after she had spent a decade building her career with the company. At first, she felt like she had no sense of purpose. She was single then and dedicated most of her time to work.
During one of our coffee catch-ups, she asked, "What do I do now?"
Not one to prescribe what anyone should do with their lives, I blurted out, "Give. You said you find joy in it."
I did not expound on what that looks like in my head. I just felt the nagging feeling of reminding her that she has so much to offer. She's excellent at what she does. She has the support of good friends. She is healthy. She is alive! While not discounting the fact that losing a job sucks, I just really saw so much potential in my friend Su. I always knew that her job is not what defines her.
During her break from work, she volunteered her time to manage a fundraising event for a nonprofit group. She took the project from start to finish. She was a massive part of the reason why six youths from very low-income families are now finishing college.
Fast forward to this day, she now holds a corporate directorial job that she landed through a connection she met at a volunteering event! She tells the story of how, during her interview for the job, her now-boss said, "I would usually ask more questions when I'm hiring someone. But I've heard of your passion and your sense of your life's purpose. And that's important to me."
On the other side of the fence was I, shaken by a very turbulent time early this year. It changed my family's life forever. Our seven-month-old son died due to bacterial infection.
I grappled for a sense of purpose. I believe in God, and He's always given me hope. But when dealing with a loved one's death, something more tangible needs to come around to make sense of that hope.
When our son was four months old, my husband and I organized a fundraiser for the International Justice Mission (IJM) for their work to fight online sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines. The event raised an amazing amount of USD30,000, thanks to so many generous supporters.
Fast forward, a few months after our son's death, we received an update from IJM that they have rescued 20 children, in total, from being abused, and have arrested six perpetrators of the crime, putting a stop to more abuse that they could create. These rescues were made possible by the donations raised from the fundraiser.
Tears of grief turned to tears of purposefulness.
The decision I've made when I was in my 20s to take on a generous lifestyle has given me hope during many sharp and uncertain turns in my life.
I share this because I see lots of potential in you. You may have given in the past. Or you may be finding out right now how you can be more strategic about your giving. Or perhaps, you've never tried giving back and you wonder how you can start.
Here’s something that can get you started—my free ebook called “Get Started On Giving”. Click here to sign up for it.
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