One. Point. Nine. Two. Million. Dollars. $1.92 million dollars to end homelessness. $1.92 million to invest of the lives and futures of our neighbors. I’m amazed when I think about this number, which represents the deep love that Beacon’s donors have for their homeless neighbors.
At 14, through confirmation classes in my little congregational church in small-town South Dakota our pastor Steve tried to help us think beyond our tiny selves. He knew it would be important for us to realize how powerful we can be when we connect with others for good. He introduced me to Manar, the woman who became my confirmation mentor. She is Muslim and her husband John is Christian and she sat with him at church some Sundays. She patiently answered a hundred questions over enchiladas at Ricardo’s and coffee dates at Barista’s Brew. Manar gave me a beautiful scarf when I was confirmed—I still treasure it—and by that time we had become very close.
Now, as back then, I’m amazed at the lengths to which individuals will go to reach and connect to others, even perfect strangers. Whether it’s Beacon donors investing in quality affordable housing for neighbors surviving on low incomes, or a generous mentor helping a teenager expand her knowledge of faith and the world, something has become quite clear to me of late:
I have been extraordinarily lucky in my life to have experienced the awesome and ongoing generosity of others.
As the individual giving manager at Beacon, I witness this kind of extraordinary human connection every day. I often wonder who or what influenced our supporters to give so generously of their time and financial resources to help people they may never meet in person. I’m inspired by their acts of kindness toward our neighbors. This is what Steve was teaching years ago in my rural confirmation class—and watching this lesson in action today in my work is a constant source of energy and inspiration.
Thank you, Beacon donors, for providing the warmth and comfort of home to others. Thank you for proving to me that together we can make connections that change the world in small ways for big impact.
Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” How incredibly lucky I am that I get to make a living facilitating the exchange of a gift between neighbors.