I Like Giving!

Once again, Simplify is encouraging you to catch the spirit of Generosity this Christmas Season! In your Christmas gift box, you had an envelope with $50 cash with the charge to give it away. This is a great way to involve your family and kids in the true spirit of Christmas: that giving is way more fun than getting!

Make it a family activity to find new opportunities and creative ways to give!

After you give your $50 away, and we'll give you another $25 to give again. The hope on the second round is that you will match the $25 we give you with $25 of your own.

Post your story to the site here, and we'll put it up for Simplify folks to enjoy.

You can visit the I Like website to see the latest stories of this movement of generosity!

Simplify Staff Stories...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 4:18 PM

I Like Neighbors

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 4:18 PM
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 4:18 PM

I just gave away the I Like gift of $50.00 yesterday. When I first received the envelope with the $50.00 I asked God to show me who He wanted me to give it to. I asked for His perfect timing. Last week, knowing the deadline was quickly approaching, I still had not given away the gift but I had not felt that perfect opportunity that I prayed about. Then it happened yesterday and I KNEW 100% it was God. His timing is perfect! So here is how it went, there is a little bit of a back story that led up to the actual opportunity to give the I Like gift. I have been living in the same apartment community for the past 5 years and have had the same neighbor that lives above me all this time. I met the woman the first day I moved in and after that point we would sometimes run into each other in the parking lot and say hello but never really talked much. After a few years we had a long conversation about different things and got to know each other a little bit. She worked a full time stressful job, lost her husband unexpectedly several years ago, lived with her boyfriend of 6 years and had a son in his 20s that came back to live with her off and on. After that conversation we went back to just saying hello from time to time, each leaving for work in the mornings around the same time, quick hellos, how are you, have a good day. Fast forward to around last October, I noticed she wasnt leaving for work in the morning and when I came home her car was still parked in the same spot. So for weeks I didnt really see her where I could talk to her. Then one day this past November she was pulling into her parking spot as I was about to leave. She looked sad, tired, beaten down. I mentioned that I had not seen much of her and asked if everything was ok. We stood there and talked for quite a while and I found out she had to take long-term disability from work. She was sick with Fibromyalgia, suffered from panic attacks, had severe arthritis, no energy, unable to focus, felt lost, severe depression, wanted to give up. I listened to her and offered her encouragement and let her know that I would be praying for her and to please let me know if there was anything I could do for her. She mentioned at that time that she appreciated the offer and the prayers and that she would be ok but just needed time to heal, take care of herself, etc. and that she was working with insurance companies, government offices, etc. to file for disability, etc. so that she could start to get some income (current income was coming from her boyfriend working full time but they were down to one income). A few weeks later I saw her again and she looked even more tired and was crying. I asked if all was ok and she said her mother had a stroke and was in the hospital, some days her mother didnt recognize her, she was struggling with her own illnesses and now driving to the hospital in downtown Houston daily and needing/wanting to be there for her Mom. She said she just couldnt take it anymore and that she still hadnt finished filling out the paperwork packet to start getting disability payments b/c it was so overwhelming and she could not focus long enough to get it done. I offered to help her and she shut down and said, thanks but I just couldnt ask you to do that . She went on her way. Shortly before Christmas I baked some cookies and took them up to her apartment. I visited with her and her boyfriend for over an hour. She cried and said she felt at her wits end. She was dealing with her own illness, her mother being in the hospital and her and her siblings needing to put her in a home plus getting calls daily from insurance companies, etc. asking question after question to get her paperwork moving. I said to her, let me help you with the paperwork packet, I have worked with the same type of info for my Mom and I want to do this for you . A few days later she called me and said other family members had offered to help her but no one came through so she was going to take me up on my offer. I met with her two different times and we got all of the paperwork completed, copied, organized and I took it to the post office for her. She cried and said that it felt like an elephant was lifted from her back. Since that time I have watched her leave to go to the hospital, later the nursing home to sit with her mother, take care of her, etc. but barely getting along herself. Now I have to say that during the last few months since receiving the I Like gift I have thought to myself that maybe I am supposed to give it to her but I would then think, well they seem to be getting along ok financially, I see them come and go with groceries, her son lives with her too and is working, they have cars to drive, etc. so $50.00 isnt going to really help them . I was wrong. The opportunity presented itself yesterday evening. I was leaving my apartment around 6:20 to go to my piano lesson and I was already running late. She was walking towards her car at the same time. We said hello and I said, Im on my way to piano and running late, sorry I cant talk much now . As I got in my car it hit me strongly, give her that I Like $50.00 you have in the envelope in your purse, she needs it now . So I rolled down the passenger side window of my car as she was getting some items from her car and I just asked how her Mom was and she started crying. She said, I wish some days that God would just take me b/c I cant watch her suffer . I tried to comfort her and said I know how hard this is on you emotionally and physically and Im continuing to pray for you. She then said, it is going to start affecting me financially too and I dont know what Im going to do since I havent started receiving disability . She said that she had a few siblings and they would be splitting cost of different items. I reached into my purse and reached out my hand with the $50.00. I said, I know this is not going to take care of a large bill or take care of a huge financial contribution to help with what your mother needs but I want to give this to you and there is a reason why. She didnt even look at the amount I had in my hand and just said, no, Im not taking any money from you, you have already helped me so much with your time, etc. . I said please let me explain. I read her the card from my envelope. I explained how I had asked God for the right person, the right time to give the gift and that I knew it was meant for her. She took the $50.00 from my hand, looked at it and put her face in her hands and started crying. She said thank you so much, my siblings and I have to purchase a piece of equipment my Mom needs and my portion is $50.00 and we have to have it by tomorrow, and I didnt have it to spare . I could tell how much it touched her and even more knowing that God meant for her to have it. She was extremely grateful and so am I. Thank you so much for the opportunity to give in this way at this perfect time.

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