“It Makes Us Feel Good”

Opening the mail at Loaves & Fishes is always an adventure – you never know what you will discover – donations (expected and unexpected), bills (also expected and unexpected), letters of thanks from former clients, or maybe a postcard from a vacationing volunteer.   The envelope looked like a thousand others.  But a note fell out as I opened the mail last week.  It read:

  “We are giving $10.00 to Loaves & Fishes.  We are struggling ourselves having to sell anything that means anything almost.  It makes us feel good to give a little to you.  Thank you.  I hope things get better.”

 A quick check of our records showed a couple who have been donating to Loaves & Fishes since 2003.  The amount of this check told me that hard times have indeed come their way. I thought of all the reasons professional fund raisers tell us people make donations to charity; to promote causes we believe in, to better the situation of the poor, even for tax benefits.  But I was struck by the sentence “It makes us feel good to give a little to you.” 

 I would be willing to bet that sentiment is beneath a lot of the giving to Loaves & Fishes.  It just makes us feel good.  Even, or maybe especially, when times are hard personally.