Giving: Who? You. When? Now. How? Keep reading…

I’m not much of a ranter. It’s just not my thing (unless I get to add some really sarcastic humor).

In a world that seems to hand us a million reasons to complain every day (more than that if you watch the same negative blatherings of more than one news network), I am happier to focus on the positive, as tough as it can be to find some days.

This winter has been long. Heck, our first storm was the Blizzard of Thanksgiving and we’re almost to Saint Patrick’s Day!

It has also been setting records across the country for consistent freezing temperatures.

Roofs are collapsing. Ice dams are looming precariously over our heads and cars.

Despite all that, in an ever-widening circle around southern New Hampshire, hearts and minds and hands and feet are warming.

What began as a fun idea just over 2 years ago has blossomed into something I’ve grown very proud of…not for what’s been done, but for the number of people who’ve become part of the ‘family’.

I still remember one of the very first ‘giving missions’ of BeachBum Philanthropy (click the name to like us on Facebook). Through the Friends of Kevin Radio Show (hosted by one of my favorite ‘good guys’ Kevin Willett), I heard about a family whose teenage son wanted to be able to ride on a special tandem bike with his mom. I think we sent a few dollars, then wrote a blog about them.

I was overjoyed to hear that they raised enough to buy the bike a week later.

When you get enough people to care…things happen!

The biggest joy for me?

Being part of a group of people who each gave a little here and there, and then shared the message. It wasn’t one big check. It was a whole bunch of people and small businesses, coming together to make something pretty awesome happen.

That is what BeachBum Philanthropy is all about. We are not an official non-profit, and may never be. There is too much paperwork…and far too many rules for my liking.

We see, we feel, we give, and we share as many ideas as we can find so that others can be inspired and educated as to how easy giving really is.

That’s it.

Not sure what you can do?

Stores like The Dollar Tree and Big Lots are perfect places to start.

On Friday, I learned that a local homeless shelter needed hand-crank can openers. Got them for a dollar each.

I also found full-sized tubes of toothpaste at Big Lots for 90-cents each.

You can find a bag of disposable razors, 10 for a dollar.

It doesn’t cost much to give.

You just have to want to. It’s that easy.

Not everybody does, and I’m cool with that.

They have their reasons, and I respect them.

I simply choose to hang with the people who do like to give.

They’re fun. They tend to be happier. They have something special about them.

Why do I give?

Because I like the feeling, whether it’s done anonymously or not.

I don’t need awards. I don’t need a library named after me. I don’t need the press.

At the end of the day, if I know I did my best to make at least one life, beside my own, better than day…it was a win.

Please remember it is important to honor yourself as well.

You have to learn to let others help YOU sometimes.

It took me a while to learn that.

I used to think so little of myself that I denied others the opportunity to help me.

Big lesson learned.

Who can give?

You can.

If you’re not sure where to start, we’d compiled a great list of ‘little stuff’ needed by most shelters athttp://SteveGamlin.com/giving

Thank you for giving me the gift of staying with me through the first 648 words of this blog.

I gratefully accept your attention.

Thank you! 

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