Home article The Power of Giving Back: Liz’s Story

The Power of Giving Back: Liz’s Story

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The Power of Giving Back: Liz’s Story

In 2010 I read the best-seller Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. What an amazing book! While living in Bali, Liz met a woman named Wayan. She had been horribly abused by her husband so she packed up her young daughter and left him with only the clothes on their back. When Liz met Wayan, she was in living in poverty and near eviction from her shack-like home.Not only was she barely providing for her daughter, but she had taken in two homeless children who had been dropped off at the local marketplace, abandoned by their own parents.

Wayans situation weighed so heavily on Liz’s heart she decided to take action. She emailed every single person she knew, told them of Wayan’s story, and asked each and every person to donate whatever they could to help buy this woman a home for her and her three children. Within a few days, Liz had raised $18,000! Wayan was able to buy a piece of land and build a safe home large enough for her to operate a healing business and earn income for her family. It is absolutely incredible how a big heart combined with a simple email was able to dramatically change a mother and her three children’s lives.

Do you have an email account? Do you know someone who is in need of financial assistance big or small? If you look carefully, they are all around you.

Mass email is how I grew my service organization, Team Scottie, from 3 volunteers, to 5, to 10, to 15, and now 23. When the holidays were approaching I knew we would need financial assistance to treat Scottie’s mother Sarah to a nice birthday (December 24th) and Christmas. I sent out an email asking people do donate to their family. I raised $250. That may seem like piddy-puddy compared to Liz’s $18,000, but for $250 we were able to buy Sarah a new pair of shoes, five new outfits, a purse, a new bra, a computer desk, dinner at a nice restaurant and a Thanksgiving-style home cooked meal for the holidays. And we even had money left over to spare. It doesn’t matter if you have 5 contacts in your email address book or 5,000, every single person and every penny raised makes a difference.

How many people do you have in your email address book?

Who is one person you know who could use financial assistance right now? A teacher, neighbor, friend, single-parent, garbage man, homeless person, handicapped person or a total stranger?

Write their name down. Now go to your computer, and type an email to your entire email address book telling the story of the person who you know is in need. Go now. Yep, right now. Don’t continue reading this article until you have completed this task.

Do you think you are too busy, too stressed or don’t have the money to help others in need? I you learn to live by this old Chinese Proverb you will soon discover that by helping others, most other things in life are far more manageable and stress-free: If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.

Kate Raidt Kate Raidt is author of The Million-Dollar Parent: How to Have a Successful Career While Keeping Family a Top Priority and founder of advantage4parents.com. She is also an alumnus of the Southwestern Company's summer work program. Kate is also the mother of two young children.
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