Thoughtful Giving

August 1, 2023
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By Leymah R. Gbowe

On Saturday, I decided to empty my youngest son’s closet as he has outgrown many of his clothes. As I packed, I told myself I would send the things to an affiliated orphanage. There is a young boy there who reminds me of my dad, and his name is Joseph, like my father and two of my sons. After putting things in the pillowcase, I realized that I was not very thoughtful about what I was packing to give away. I emptied the things and discovered some shirts were stained and holey. I recalled a conversation with my 14 years old daughter a while ago.

A few months back, she had to fulfill some service requirements for her school; she volunteered at an institution that assisted people living under challenging circumstances. She was tasked with helping to sort through donations to the institution, especially clothes. One day she came home and told me how sad she was that people would donate dirty clothes, torn clothes, and things that she believed they would never use but thought it was okay to give to people just because they were suffering.
As I reflected on the conversation, I thought about the verse in the Bible that encourages us to “Love our neighbors as we love ourselves.”

I removed everything I would not allow my son to wear from the pile. I then packed the rest neatly to send to the orphanage. I am grateful for the lessons from my daughter about “thoughtful giving.”

Our world needs a lot of thoughtfulness in whatever we do and how we speak. I believe thoughtful giving is the giving that comes from the heart.

  • Leymah Gbowee is a Nobel Peace Prize Winner and writes for National Daily

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