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Coaches Corner by Ellie West: Giving Tuesday

In 2012, Giving Tuesday was born out of the need to counteract the outrageous spending after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is an important date as we have an opportunity to honor the value of generosity in giving back. This global movement is now celebrated across more than 85 countries.

I am very grateful to have a day like "Giving Tuesday." But also believe it shouldn't be just one day. We should be generous with what we have been given all year.

The day after Thanksgiving, a day celebrated in giving thanks for ALL things, 9.2 billion dollars were primarily spent in part by the millennials between the ages of 24 - 35. On average, they were spending $419.52, up 13.7 % from last year. I was astounded, and my heart was sad after reading those numbers.

Why do we feel the need to buy more things? Could we want to feel better and move away from hurt and sadness? Or we may want to feel better as buying things pleases us.

The commercials and now social media start the same way...they show you a short story of a person feeling discontented, then show you a product and how it will magically cure all that ails you. Does it work? Yes, most of the time. It's excellent marketing.

But, I wonder if the basic things we need to exist are taken for granted...things like food, fresh water, electricity, shelter, and clothing. We seem to want more as everything is much more convenient and readily accessible at our fingertips, like grocery stores, restaurants, and online shopping.

You have been given abundantly to share with others. Are you generous with your time, energy, gifts & talents, and finances? Giving without notice makes a significant difference in one's life and brings joy to your soul. It demonstrates your gratitude and acknowledges what God has given to you. Being generous monetarily and with your time and talents is a way to celebrate the one who gives abundantly, God, your creator.

Growing up and coming from a large family (ten of us), we didn't have much, and I remember thinking, why do we live in the area we live, in a house with four bedrooms and two bathrooms (2 - 3 to a shared room) and why do my friends seem to have so much more than us? But now, looking back, we had everything we needed, food, clothing, and shelter.

Dad had a tender and generous heart and spirit. He came from nothing and always wanted to help those less fortunate. He lost two businesses, a gas station, and an appliance store because he gave away too much, and he would tell us, "they need it more than me." He was right...he had a heart for others!

Although he didn't verbalize it, he believed that God would always provide for our family and that our needs would be met. He was right! For that, I am very grateful. I have learned to be generous and thankful for what I have been given.

I remember my dad telling me the story about the poor widow in Mark 12:41-43 (TPT)

"Then he sat down near the offering box, watching all the people dropping in their coins. Many of the rich would put in very large sums, but a destitute widow walked up and dropped in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny." "I tell you the truth, the poor widow has given a larger offering than any of the wealthy. For the rich only gave out of their surplus, but she sacrificed out of her poverty and gave to God all that she had to live on, which was everything she had.

Today, I challenge you to be generous and encourage others to do the same. Give back in any way you can. There are many needs out there...find a need and fill it. It may be in your family, neighborhood, or community.

Generosity should always be low-key and silent. Let your generosity flow - with your gifts, talents, time, energy, and finances.

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." ~ Winston Churchill

To connect with Ellie, FB @coachelliewest

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