By Juanita Floyd
During the month of December, you typically see an increase in giving. I have had the pleasure of working at CREATE Foundation for nearly 28 years and have seen throughout those years the generosity of many donors. Whether it’s helping donors establish advised funds, endowments or memorial scholarship funds, I see the impact of giving and the difference it makes in the lives of people and charitable organizations.
I thought about how giving really can impact lives and how important it is to give. Several local high school students really wanted to go to Starkville to the Mississippi State/Jackson State football game to see Jackson’s Sonic Boom Band perform. Several did not have the money to purchase tickets. After hearing about my desire to take the group to the game, an avid Mississippi State supporter donated the tickets. Another person gladly paid for the gas. Because of their enjoyment of that college experience, I later took several of those girls to Jackson State. One senior made up her mind to attend that college! George McLean said, “It is a joyful thing when you really feel that you are making a contribution to people…”
Phil King, the father of bank teller, Alecia Powell, for many years, unselfishly made an impact on many people’s lives. His family wasn’t aware of this until he passed away. After the funeral, numerous people shared how Mr. King made a difference in their lives.
Another giver provides money to bury individuals whose families don’t have the resources to pay for their loved ones’ funerals. The person said, “Juanita, people have got to be buried and the good Lord blessed me to be able to help.” Many families benefit from this person’s generosity and they don’t even know it. I share these stories to show the impact of one’s giving. My mother, Bernice Gambrell, said, “Make a difference, be it great or small. Do your part.” You never know how your giving helps and how it will affect generations of people.
I thought about Mississippi being ranked as the poorest state in the nation; yet, it retains its title as one of the most giving and generous states. I pondered, “What is it about man that, in spite of our differences, races, beliefs, imperfections and attitudes we give to help mankind – whether it’s great or small?” What is it about us? Could it be that we are made in His image? A passage of scripture even asks, “What is man, that Thou art mindful of him…?” I then thought about the greatest gift of all – the father gave his son to save mankind. Could it be that it is inbred in us to be natural givers just like our creator?
Giving makes a difference – whether one gives to a community foundation such as CREATE, or to an individual or an organization. During this season of giving, think about what you could do to impact lives. What can you give? Who can you give to? Are you willing to give just as the creator gave to us? You be the judge.
Juanita Gambrell Floyd is vice president for finance and administration at CREATE Foundation. Contect her at firstname.lastname@example.org.