Right Around the River Blog

Giving is Contagious

Post Date: 11-23-2010

Around this time of year during Thanksgiving and holiday-gift buying (Black Friday), you often hear "it is better to give than to receive.." As a child, my mother used to remind me of this as I developed my "extensive" Christmas wish list. However, this past week, I was reminded of this saying in a different way.

As you may recall from previous blog posts, the Rocketts Landing Social Committee supports the Fulton Hill Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC) throughout the year by giving donations and volunteering time. For the month of November, the committee collected money for NRC to buy grocery gift cards for 11 Center families to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

In order to receive a card, the Center selected a group of recipients who have multiple family members to support and are unemployed. This past week, I was grateful to be able to witness the Center passing out these cards firsthand.

Penny Ferris, the Center’s Program and Volunteer Coordinator, handed a card to the first woman eligible to receive the gift, a mother of three whose husband was recently murdered. She paused and then started crying. “I am going to split this with my neighbor,” she whispered. “I am so grateful that I want others to feel the way I do. God bless you. You just don’t know how much this means to me.” Penny informed me that many of the gift card recipients do just that – share them with others in need.

“Most of our Center families not only receive donations, but they respect and understand the power of giving back to their own community,” she said. “Most of our mothers will try and come in once a week to donate their time to our after-school programs, and when they give back, the NRC and the Center parents are able to work together to create an optimistic atmosphere,” she continued. “Giving to one often results in giving to another – it is contagious.”

As Penny handed out the cards, the recipients shared their excitement and gratitude and told us about the people they were going to include in their holiday meal. “Now my auntie can make her famous turkey,” a young girl announced in the back of the room.

While these people definitely appreciated receiving the gifts cards, they were more excited to share the opportunity to enjoy the holiday with someone else. I could not help but think – it truly is better to give than to receive.

*To learn more about the Fulton Hill Neighborhood Resource Center and the amazing work they do to support the surrounding community, please visit http://www.nrccafe.org/.