With the downturn in the Alberta economy, especially in the Oil Patch where I work as an Independent Geological Consultant, my income has been severely reduced the past two years. Consequently, my “true capacity to give” is somewhat limited these days. This past week I learned a couple of important lessons about giving, and how we old baby boomers can connect with Millennials.
My daughter Alicia had purchased a new couch and asked me to haul away her old one. At the suggestion of my mother, Ethel Hayden, instead of just tossing a very useable couch, I took it home and put it on Kijiji. I sold it for $100 to a nice woman who was buying it for her daughter who was moving out and needed a couch. Although my daughter didn’t expect to receive any money for it, I felt funny keeping the money for something that really didn’t take much effort to sell. Then I thought about the recent request from our church for donations for Haiti to help recover from the hurricane. I immediately went online and transferred the $100 to the church’s Abolish Poverty and End Suffering fund with a special designation for Haiti. When I called my daughter and told her what I did with “her”/our money, she was thrilled. Yesterday, two very cool, funky, young women came to pick up the couch that Mom had paid for, and as we loaded it in their truck I told them to let their Mom know that their $100 was on its way to Haiti to help with hurricane relief. I thought they were going to cry. They were clearly touched and moved by the small decision I made and told me that their mom would be very pleased as well.
The two lessons I learned in this situation were that we can always find innovative ways to give even when our income is limited, and also that when us old boomers are trying to find ways to connect and relate to Millennials, we need to remember that their generation is very passionate about social justice and being mindful of the vulnerable in the world. When we recognise and make efforts to support the vulnerable, perhaps Millennials will see us as more than just handy furniture movers and a place to crash for a free meal.
Calgary Spark is a collection of stories told by members and friends of the church alike. Each person's story is helping to shape our community in new ways.