Surprised by Generosity

Take a trip back in time with me to late November/December 2012. I remember deciding to stop for a little treat at my favorite yogurt shop and I was enjoying a birthday cake cup with hot fudge and a lot of berries (ya know, because that makes it healthy) when one of the yoga instructors from my gym walked in with her ten-year old daughter. She asked me my favorite question:

“What are you up to?”

It may have been nothing more than polite small talk. But I never pass up a chance to tell people about the exciting things happening in my life that I’m passionate about.

Fund It Forward, my nonprofit organization that helps fund medical equipment for kids and adults with disabilities, was just beginning to take off.

As we began talking, my yoga instructor surely understood the need for an organization like ours, as she told stories about her experiences with her daughter who was diagnosed with diabetes, and all the devices and testing involved with her treatment. Luckily, her gear is covered by insurance, but she began imagining having to fund it all on her own.

After an enjoyable chat, my gym friend headed out the door, and I refocused my attention to my birthday cake cup. Much to my surprise, within a few minutes, she and her daughter came walking back into the yogurt shop.

Her daughter proudly handed over an envelope while explaining that she’d been collecting donations at an annual Christmas party and was in search of a deserving charity. Empathizing with the struggles that our families go through when critical gear isn’t covered by insurance, she decided to pick Fund It Forward as her charity of choice.

Inside the envelope were several hundreds of dollars–it was just enough to cover the cost of an iPad for the Forsyths–a local family with a child on the autism spectrum. Her mom beamed with pride and I blubbered with gratitude.

After a million thanks to this generous young lady, I headed to the bank, still very emotional, to deposit the cash. As the bank teller made polite small talk about what I was up to, she got the whole story.   By the end of the deposit, we were both in tears.

One little question with one generous result! This entire month, we hope you think of ways someone has been generous to you and your family and ways you can pay it forward. We will be sharing stories of generosity all month long and hope you are inspired to share, reflect or take action. One small act can mean everything to the person you help.

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