The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

It’s Truly Better To Give Than To Receive

On December 19th, 2011, posted in: Uncategorized by

My kids are grown.  During their teen years, they started getting cash for Christmas because for years Santa would bring them the wrong color sweater or the wrong Nike shoe.  They would show something less than gratitude over Santa’s mishap(s) and, as a result, Santa would grin and bear it and call us later that night to discuss his frustration.  I bet other parents have experienced this phenomenon associated with the teenage years.

So after years of disdain for the events of Christmas Day, Santa asked if he could do something different for my kids.  We applauded the big guy’s idea for cash.  The sleigh was full and delivery day is so busy that any wasted energy or space cost Santa Claus, Inc. both time and money.  We did not want to be the cause of delivery delays elsewhere around the world.  Cash was perfect.

Shortly thereafter, we began emphasizing at a premium level to our kids the importance of gratitude.  Lo and behold, with an increase in age that brought with it maturity, they responded.  And the moral of the story is that the kids today are very much givers, not takers.  They have come to realize what they have, and giving back seems like the right thing to do.

While there is a need for giving year-round, the holiday season sharpens our senses and heightens our appreciation for those who are less fortunate.  It’s a time when our hearts open a little wider; so do our wallets.  As I watched their evolution from gripers to givers, my kids reminded me of something very important.  It truly is better to give than to receive.

I recently cleaned out a closet or two, a storage area, and a handful of big boxes strewn about the basement.  The net effect was a big donation of “big boy” clothes to a number of local charities that (through an alchemy that rivals grass becoming milk) took the clothes and turned them into multitudes of joy all over the region.

We have come to learn about the good works of a number of human services agencies throughout our community that are doing what they can with limited resources to create a better place for thousands of St. Louis residents who have fallen on rough times.  Just one example is their taking of the clothes, putting them up for resale, and then plowing the money earned into programs that range from food banks, to crisis counseling, to providing training for GEDs.

So what if it doesn’t fit, or is the wrong style, or the color doesn’t align with your complexion.  No big deal.  Accept the gift with great gratitude, wait for everyone to go home, put it in the back seat of your car and visit one of the great agencies that turn those misfits into joy.

However they do it, thank God for their loving, caring hearts.  We’re a better city because of those who care for those hurting the most.

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