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A New Way to Approach Giving
Today's guest post is written by Earl W. Stafford, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Stafford Foundation, Inc. headquartered in Reston, Virginia. Mr. Stafford is also the Chief Executive Officer of The Wentworth Group LLC., a holding company providing financial and business support services to the small business community.
In so many ways, Moreece is not so different from you or me. He’s 32 years old. He loves his family; his daughter is in the fourth grade. He is divorced. He is a Christian. Like some Americans, he is struggling to find work, and has been homeless for at least a year.
Moreece lives at Central Mission shelter for men, where he is able to access services provided by the kindness of strangers.
Last Christmas, Moreece participated in the Give Before You Get campaign, sponsored by the Stafford Foundation. The campaign provides the opportunity for those who are traditionally on the receiving end of help – the homeless and underserved - to become the “givers” by volunteering at local hospitals and veterans homes.
Along with 3,000 other GBYG participants in 16 cities, Moreece spent the day bringing gifts (provided by the Stafford Foundation) to hospital patients. For Moreece, this was a time to build self-esteem, pride, and experience the indescribable joy of giving. It was a time for him to see himself as a true part of his community, as someone who can not only receive, but also give to others.
For those in the hospital, Christmas can be a dreary, depressing day without friends, family, and the warmth of familiar surroundings. GBYG participants deliver not only presents but also a kind word, a friendly smile, a gentle touch, and seasons’ greetings.
As many as 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness in a given year and roughly 50 million live below the poverty line. Living under these circumstances can be degrading, and cause people to see themselves as unable to contribute to their communities
Through the Give Before You Get campaign, we want to help these men, women and children discover what it means to give back and help them become a consistent contributor to their communities – a win/win for everyone involved.
The Stafford Foundation, Inc. is a faith-based nonprofit organization founded in 2002 and based in Reston, VA . The Stafford Foundation collaborates with and invests in capacity-building efforts that equip the underserved through programs that provide health, education, training and faith-based mission support.