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Find a way to contribute that works for you
I wear very little jewelry besides my wedding ring. I have a small bracelet I wear constantly that reminds me of a family trip. I also love a small, silver ring my daughter brought me from Italy.
I have one necklace, however, that reminds me of who I am and what my purpose is on this earth. My son attended college for a semester in Jerusalem. He brought me back a necklace that has a coin on the end — a mite. The Widow's Mite is the most fascinating of the New Testament coins. The “mite” or “pruta” was the smallest of the bronze coins in Jewish currency.
These coins were frequently mentioned in the New Testament manuscripts as we can read, in Mark 12:41-44, “And He sat down over against the treasury, and beheld how the multitude cast money into the treasury; and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a poor widow, and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, This poor widow cast in more than all they are casting into the treasury: for they did cast in of their superfluity; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”
The story of the Widow's Mite touches my heart. Regardless of your religious beliefs, I hope the story will touch your heart and motivate you to contribute — even when you feel you have little to give. I love to think of this lady (the widow) who had the courage to go with the multitude to the treasury.
Can you imagine her waking up in the morning and wondering if she should even make the journey? Why did she go? Why did she think her small contribution would make a difference? Was she apologetic for her contribution as she waited in line with the others who were casting in much more?
When you wake up in the morning, do you think about “going forth to give” that day? Do you believe that your contribution will make a difference? Do you feel the need to apologize for your contribution?
It is important for us to wake up each morning and determine to give something that day!
We might have extra money to give.
We might have extra time to give.
We certainly have a smile or a hug to give.
We might have a few small moments to say thank you.
We might have time to write a note of encouragement.
Other ideas for your family might include:
Donate unused clothing to charity
Volunteer at a local shelter
Write letters to soldiers
Volunteer at school
Become a mentor
Leave a waiter a large tip
Volunteer to plant trees
Work on a political campaign
Buy your co-worker lunch
Collect cans of food for the food bank
Sign up to “Be the Match” at a bone marrow drive
Establish a scholarship in memory of someone you love
Some days we might have more to give than other days — but we all have something to give every single day. There may be times in our lives when finances are stretched and we can't give money, but even a few coins are enough to make a difference. We don't have to give money at all — but we should give something!
We have to determine for ourselves what our “mite” is. We have to decide what we have to offer given our very individual circumstances. We might have small children at home, or jobs that keep us busy, but even a few moments of compassion is enough to make a difference. We must realize that what we have to give today — is more than enough. Our two mites — or on really bad days, our one mite — is enough!
Christina Hawkey is a professor of family studies at Arizona Western College. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.