Generosity is a desirable quality. We want to help one another become generous people. Since stories inspire us, this is a place to share our stories. Add your story of generosity and bookmark this site so you can read how others are becoming generous people!
On Sunday, Feb 26, 2017, we distributed envelopes to several hundred people at Seneca Creek Community Church. The goal was to use those envelopes as a kickstarter for personal generosity.
Here’s how it works.
- Put whatever you would like in the envelope. (there’s no minimum or maximum)
- Pray for an opportunity to be generous, then be alert to what God brings into your life.
- Present the envelope to someone who could use it.
- Post your story online to encourage others to be generous.
Ultimately our generosity flows from God’s grace to us. If we’ve been blessed by God’s gift of life thru Jesus Christ, then we can let that generosity flow through us in tangible forms to the world around us.
Use the space below to tell your own story of how you practiced generosity with your envelope.
18 thoughts on “The envelope, please…”
Last Sunday afternoon I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came upon a plea from Germantown Help saying their food supplies were critically low and they needed help. That morning our pastor, Mark Tindle, had preached a message on generosity and challenged each of us to “kickstart generosity” so when I saw the plea from Germantown Help I knew just what I needed to. I knew I could purchase some food items and put them in the donation box but then the idea came to me to why not challenge others to join me? So I asked my book club to come alongside me and together we now have have a sizable donation to make. Sometimes all it takes is an ask and people are more than willing to be generous. If you haven’t “kickstarted generosity” yet, why not consider a food drive? It doesn’t have to be a big organized thing, just an ask to a few friends or a group you are part of and together your generosity can be multiplied.
Great post, Jennifer! Way to “Get Your Generousity On!”
God planted a very special person in my life recently and asked me to help her. Her needs are extensive, and even daunting. From childcare to employment to transportation and more, I didn’t know how to even begin to help. I started just by giving her a ride to church on Sundays. Even this seemed like it could be a burden on me. You never know when you might be too tired to get up, or have something more “pressing” to do on a Sunday. But I committed to doing this, and somehow getting up and out has been easier ever since. Even my teenage son suddenly became much more willing to go with us. As I watched her joy as she worshipped I was filled with joy of my own, and as I witnessed the faith of this woman who has so very little, I saw how God provides peace and joy to those who believe, even amidst difficult circumstances. I felt led and encouraged by God to do more. We signed up for a Converge group together and I began driving her to that too. Before I knew it I was looking forward to these times. Very unexpectedly a beautiful friendship has formed. On days when I had a bad day or was struggling with something, she prayed for me and helped me find the right mindset. We prayed together for the things she so desperately needs. We share bible verses to lift each other up and inspire deeper faith. One by one, we have seen her needs fulfilled in ways that can only be God at work. I am absolutely amazed to see the miracle of God answering our prayers one by one.
Saying yes to God when he asked me to be generous with my time, money, and resources has blessed me in ways that I never could have fathomed. It opened the door for him to show me his abounding grace and love for us. And that decision to say yes was the hardest part. After that God made everything else easy.
After Pastor Mark’s message last week I decided to follow through with something God put on my heart months ago. I will now make this happen, thanks Pastor Mark for the encouragement. God impressed upon me to always have something in my car for homeless people that are standing at stoplights asking for money, food, or etc. So I have put together bags to hand out with a bottled water, a can of tea, candy, breakfast bars, jerky, and money/or a gift card. We all have a story, some much more heartwrenching than others. I’ve had folks say “they only want money for beer or drugs.” But you know what, I can’t judge that person standing out there, God knows their story, I don’t need to. And I believe HE will tell me when to be generous and when not to. But HE does in no uncertain terms tell us to be generous and help the homeless. There is an excitement when you are doing something God tells you to do. The bags are made, in the car, and waiting for the opportunity!
I know this website is for sharing your story of generosity but I wanted to share with you my experience from Sunday’s message. I have really been struggling for some time now with physical pain that is increasingly worse. A couple of days after Christmas, my patient went home. He was such an inspiration to me. More importantly, he was my reason for pushing past my own pain. No matter how bad I felt, I knew he needed me and that got me to work and “outside” of myself. After his death I kind of sunk into depression. Needless to say, it has been a very difficult couple of months. Sometimes I feel like I cannot endure for even one more day. Many days I just feel despair and hopeless. In addition to the pain I worry endlessly about finances. It is only because of the LOVE and GENEROSITY of my sister that I have a roof over my head.
Fast forward to Sunday. After service, I asked my sister what she was going to do with her envelope and she said she didn’t know yet. I told her that I was trying to think of something that would really make a difference for someone. And that was the end of the conversation. Yesterday, I met my sister at my niece’s school for an IEP meeting as she is needing some extra help. Those meetings can be difficult and I didn’t want her to have to be there alone. As we were leaving, she handed me an envelope. She said, “This is what I decided to do with my envelope. I don’t want to hear one word about this. This is to help you get by. In it was $502.00!! There really are no words to tell you what this meant to me. Yes, of course I could use the money to pay bills. But this money meant so much more to me than that. At a time when I am struggling with my faith, and feeling so useless and in despair, this money represented HOPE. It also made me feel LOVED and IMPORTANT enough that someone wanted to invest in me. How could I possibly give up on myself when so many others refuse to? God is speaking loudly.
I still haven’t handed out my envelope yet, Pastor Mark, and yes the $2 are still in there. LOL. (Oh, and yes, I will add more to it (LOL x 2!😎)!
There’s an obviously crippled man I have seen a number of times on Montgomery Village Avenue, in the median, and for months I have been looking for an opportunity to actually find out more and to try and see what needs he had. Of course, I can’t very well stop in the middle of Montgomery Village Avenue on a busy weekend morning and just get out and talk with him (I can hear the car horns now!) …So that’s a prayer request, since it may be months more before that opportunity surfaces. But….I do have another envelope recipient in mind, and I know this person very well, and know their heart and struggles to raise two kids.
Oh, and pardon my spelling, that should be PASTOR Mark…..But since there doesn’t seem to be an “edit post” functionality built in, this second post will have to suffice.
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George, I fixed the spelling. 🙂
I work in a office building and we have an incredible smiling cleaning lady.
She is always smiling and for some reason I have been seeing her a lot since Pastor Mark’s message. I really believe God has been trying to tell me to bless her. So today I gave her some money in a envelope and told her how much we appreciate her and that she has a beautiful spirit!
I hope we will get to know one another and greet each other on a first name basis now! Feeling
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Here’s how your money was spent by the Galloways, Pastor Mark. We have a friend who recently learned of a Syrian refugee family that ended up in DC (after 3 years in a Turkey refugee camp). The family is in need of many things… and a list of items can be found at:
Your money was multiplied and donated to this family, in hopes that it will help them get settled and start a new life. God is good!!!
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Tonight we were finally had a babysitter and were going on our our first “date” night of 2017! We decided to go see The Shack, as I had read the book and loved it. My husband and I had our envelopes Pastor Mark kindly passed out a few weeks ago, and still hadn’t used them. We had bought lunches for friends here and there–but I wanted to do something anonymous. So tonight, I decided that I would but a 3rd movie ticket and leave it with the teller. I asked her to give it to the next person who was going to see The Shack, and tell them God wanted them to see that movie and was happy they were there.
We watched the movie, and I didn’t really think of it again until on our way out of the theater we found a $10 bill laying on the ground…. exactly the cost of the movie ticket!! So crazy and wonderful. Now we’ll have to find out a way to use that $10 to bless someone else unexpectedly. This is going to be fun 🙂
I ride metro into the office at least 3 times a week. Near my stop in DC and the sidewalk that leads to my office building, I can always find one or more homeless asking for money. I usually never give because I’m fearful and uncertain. But this time on a Thursday morning, drudging to ride the metro, I walk inside and I immediately see an elder homeless woman with her bags near her feet, eyes closed, trying to sleep and no one sitting next to her. During the ride at a stop, another man walks in and begins to chant, “Spare change, spare change” as he walked down the aisle of our metro car. As my stop neared, I wanted to help the lady and give her my money but I was still fearful and uncertain. But at that moment, I looked at her again and saw just how my morning ride was so vastly different from hers. Before the announcement and the door stopped at my stop, I walked over, gently touched her hand, she startled awake but I whispered, “Miss, this is for you”. I felt eyes on me from the other metro riders but I hoped that my small action of giving to her would stir them to ‘see’ and ‘do’.
Our family had two envelopes from Sunday’s service. We had great intentions for this mission Pastor Mark set upon us. We had the envelopes visible on the end of the counter to remind us daily to find a great purpose. I had to go out of town for work and I often need singles to tip van drivers and hotel housekeepers, etc. I was short on small change so I looked at my husband as I grabbed the ones and said I will replace these with large bills. I got the look. He knew I would be good for it though. Off to work and nothing eventful happened. The next morning, I was walking along the boardwalk in Miami Beach and found my heart being pulled for the number of homeless. I continued my walk as I have been taught to not open your purse or wallet right in front of strangers. I stopped, I had to turn around. One gentleman caught my attention. If not for this man then who? I gave him money. He was gracious. I told him a quick bit about church Sunday. He said he thought he would like it there. I told him to not stop praying and I will pray for him too. When I was on my way back he had a bag from Publix Grocery Store with some groceries and was feeding one of the wild, feral cats a tin of cat food he had purchased. Not only did he look at his own needs but one of Gods creatures too. Warmed my heart. Some people just need a boost.
As for the second envelope, we will look to help in our community. We look forward to using the gift. Thank you Pastor Mark.
I shared Sunday’s message with my son and asked him if he had any ideas for who to bless with generosity. After some thought he decided on the MoCo Animal Shelter because he wanted to help the animals and the volunteers and police officers who run the shelter. We said we would match whatever he wanted to give. After a little trepidation, he decided to give his entire last month’s allowance. We went there today and the staff was very appreciative. I think we may have been the most blessed as it has opened our hearts to adopting a rescue pet. My son was glad he was able to contribute, even though it meant he couldn’t buy a Lego set he wanted. Lol
I’ve had the envelope Pastor Mark gave us for a while and quite frankly forgot about it. Went to the Giant Food Store at Kingsview yesterday and the folks from Women Who Care Ministries were there with their list of food items you could purchase to donate as you are shopping. I’ve always picked up a few items for them, even before I came back to the Lord. As I was looking for items to donate a voice inside said “Remember that envelope?” When I exited the store I asked the young lady if they would take a cash donation. Yes. Came back from my car, gave her the envelope and told her “God Bless You!” Thanks Pastor Mark for your part of that donation and your encouragement for us to be generous.
I’ve held onto Pastor Mark’s envelope for quite awhile, looking for the right opportunity to donate. My family recently went on a vacation to Florida and I was thinking of donating to one of the bathroom attendants at our resort who seemed to be carrying a heavy burden. When I went back the next day, she was no longer there. So I continued to look for opportunities. At the airport on our return home, my 3 daughters made a huge mess and got muffin crumbs all over the place. A janitor came and started sweeping up the crumbs, down on his hands and knees. He smiled at my kids (I thought of course he would be annoyed by creating this mess) and we started talking about kids. He told me he had two. I felt a voice tell me it was time to pull out the envelope. As soon as I gave it to him, he pulled out his card and told me he is a Baptist Pastor in Haiti! I was so surprised. He told me he would donate the money to children in his church and not keep it for himself. He ended the conversation by saying “God bless you.”
I decided that whenever I got change in the form of $1 bill(s) I would add it to the envelope and wait on an opportunity presented by the Lord to bless someone. An opportunity presented itself by someone I know who received a 30 day jail sentence in the Eastern Regional Jail/Detention Facility in West Virginia. This person knows the Lord has a purpose and plan for his life, so he decided to make good on what appeared to be a bad situation. He wanted to read the bible and felt lead to tell the others about the Lord. But first he needed a bible, which the jail has no books, library, nothing. One day while reaching for the TV remote in the TV area he spotted a bible, God had provided. He began reading and sharing and one inmate ask for prayer, after he received prayer, he gave his life to Christ. Then another bible appeared. The bibles are KJV, but the 2 read and shared their readings with each other. One inmate’s name is James, he was instructed to read the book of James; the other inmate’s name is David, he was instructed to read about King David. James requested I send him materials on the Roman Road, and other scriptures to read. The group has grown, today there are 6 persons being ministered to and are in need of bibles. I will be purchasing the New Beginners Bibles, NLT with the money that has been added to the envelope. I am very blessed and thankful for this experience.