What is a gift?

As the founder of a 501c3 100% volunteer organization, from time to time I hear a volunteer complain that a receiving organization didn’t thank them. I have heard from people in my life that after a gift was given by them, the recipient didn’t thank them enough, or properl,y or that they never used the item or, gave it away.  These people are not givers. They are barterers. They want to receive something in exchange for “giving” something. This is not giving, but TRADING.

My mom taught me when I was small to give quietly. No one needs to know what you do, what you give or how much. I have taken it a step further with Binky Patrol (http://binkypatrol.org). If you give to expect a thank you, don’t give. The giving is your present to yourself, the joy of making, buying, finding, and then giving. Release the gift. Allow the recipient to get joy from the gift however they choose.This may mean giving it to another – perhaps they know of someone that would love the gift even more, perhaps they needed a gift and could not afford to purchase one to give. You have given them that opportunity. What a blessing! They experienced joy from your gift, just not as you expected.

I’m a fan of strategic volunteering where everyone wins. I’m also a fan of VERY quiet giving. Release you gift or donation with love. Check your motives for giving if this is really bothering you. If you are giving to receive, rethink it, please. Charities are working hard enough to scramble volunteers, distribute items, raise funds. Appeasing egos is not in their mission statement. Yes, Emily Post taught us to hand write thank you notes. Exception, if you ship something, you do want to make sure it’s been received – that’s a confirmation of receipt – not a thank you note. Either ask for one from your shipper, or drop a quick note to the relative making sure it arrived. If it did, don’t give it another thought. If you gave to a charity, you have your check receipt for taxes, if that is the concern. Wish them well in their endeavors and give again if you choose. Their gratitude is always felt, just not always as expected.