Living and Giving

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Jean. I don’t think there could be a more important word today.

In a rare moment, I was late to my team meeting by 90 seconds, but it had to be. Because I had to take care of Jean today.

One of my favorite people in my life was my Oma, and she was one of my best friends. She was a model of a strong work ethic and a courageous heart.

Today, I had a chance to visit “Oma.”  As I was walking on my way to work consumed by phone calls, I saw a white haired, sweet, frail woman. She was gingerly touching down the steps outside of a hotel. With tightly grasped knuckles, she was holding her cane in one hand, and the railing in the other. While I could only see her back, I could tell there was concern. I stepped around the side of her and gently put my face in front of hers. I put my arm around her back and asked “Would it help if I walked with you?”

She looked up with me with the bluest eyes, sparkling. “Oh yes it would!” She said with a sweet smile. And so, my former quick pace of long stride- long stride-phone call-long stride-phone call-phone call  had slowed for Jean.


I asked her what her name was as we stepped down together. It was Jean. I turned around to her and smiled. “Is there anywhere else you need to go…?” I asked. “Can I help you anymore…?”

“Oh no, this is quite enough, you\’ll never know.” She smiled at me.

“I hope you have a wonderful day, Jean, you deserve it.” I said.  And then she smiled at me with a big smile. She waved her hand at me, waving her cane. And off she went, and off I went.

I held my gaze looking at her, wishing I could spend some more time with her. Perhaps ask her to lunch, and yet I didn\’t really know her.


So, in a bit, I gently turned away and went back to a slower long stride- long stride- no phone call- long stride- long stride- no phone call.

I got into the team meeting, and I told them what happened. It became a major point of our meeting. UniversalGiving’s vision is to \”Create A World Where Giving And Volunteering Are A Natural Part Of Everyday Life.\”

And that doesn\’t mean just through a website, it doesn\’t mean just through a 25 dollar donation, no matter how much that is needed. It isn\’t just through formal volunteering events, it’s in the giving of yourself and creating that world where you are giving in your own world, everyday.

That’s what so exciting about life. This isn\’t just about having a 9 to 5 philanthropy job. This is about creating that world of giving, every moment. What was your moment today? Share with us by commenting on Philanthropy at the Dry Cleaners!