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...
On the evening of Christmas Day after we were out of leftovers, we went to have dinner at our local Denny's Diner. It was the only open restaurant. We didn't expect for them to be busy, but boy were we wrong. More people started arriving after we were seated. Our server became very busy. I tipped her the $50 and wished her a Merry Christmas on our way out. I hope that put a smile on her face.
Published on Thursday, March 6, 2014 @ 9:57 AM CDT
I stopped for gas at a Kroger near my house early one morning and noticed a guy at the pump next to me struggling to dig change out of his center console. He was dressed up a bit, but his car looked like it had seen better days. I overheard him paying the attendant for $4.73 of gas. As he was filling up the tank I complimented his suit. He thanked me and said he was on his way to a job interview. $4.73 does not go far with gas prices these days, so his pump quickly shut off. I walked around to his side of the pump, said "here, let me top off your tank" and swiped my card. It took another $30 to fill up. Once full, he was shaking my hand, almost in tears, thanking me. I slipped him a $20 bill and said God has blessed me in my life, so I'm just passing it on. I wished him luck at his job interview and left.
Published on Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 4:03 PM CDT
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.
Published on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 @ 4:18 PM CDT
In the days before Christmas, I was in line at HEB, behind me was a mother with four young children. I saw her meticulously adding the contents of her basket - I can only assume because of a restricted budget, as I have known this practice too. As she repeatedly, yet gently told her kids, "No" when asked about the candy, chips and various non-necessities lining the checkout line, I knew what I needed to do. I reached back and handed her the $50 and told her Merry Christmas. She looked stunned, and thankful, although 'thankful' doesn't quite seem to cover it... she looked relieved. This moment touched me, because like others, I have been in that situation, a young mother with four small people dependent on me, and having no idea how I was going to come up with means to cover their needs… but God always provided!
Published on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 @ 4:10 PM CDT
My family and my sister and her husband had been shopping all day. I had shared with them the I Like Giving opportunity so we were looking for the right person all day. We were on our way home and had not yet found the person who stood out to us. We stopped at Wal-Mart for groceries. My husband and brother-in-law were on a mission. They found a young couple standing in the toy aisle talking. They looked very concerned and didn't have anything in their basket yet. They walked by them and then felt that they were the ones they wanted to bless. My brother-in-law walked up to them and stuck his hand out like he was going to shake hands. The man took his hand, because that's what you do, and the b-in-l said, with this goofy grin, 'I like giving! Have a blessed Christmas.' Of course he had the money in his hand. He said as he was walking away that they just stood there stunned. This meant so much to me as I've been that couple. I've had no idea how we were going to be able to afford what we were needing, and someone would just show up at the right moment. God has never left us without and He's used many people to bless us over the years. At just the right time.
Published on Thursday, February 6, 2014 @ 10:09 AM CDT
I found two grandparents who were raising their twin grandchildren. The Grandfather is the sole wage earner of the home because his wife has fibromyalgia among many other challenges. I left an envelope on their door with a note that help can come from anywhere.
Published on Thursday, February 6, 2014 @ 10:07 AM CDT
Between Christmas and New Years I took some time to address a few honey-due list items around the house. I found myself at Discount Tire early one Saturday morning. I was listening to the conversation of a customer is front of me with the clerk and then the manager. He needed 2 new front tires in a big way. The problem was the cheapest solution was about $40.00 more than he had. I was looking at the child wrapped around his fathers leg and though of the fear I would have of driving on very bad tires. I remembered the $50.00 and quickly dug through my wallet and found it. I held it up so only the manager could see it and the finger over my mouth. He got the message and said to the father that he found a way he could sell the tires for less. I was grateful that nothing was said. But I know that the manager and sales agent would think about it and the father could retain his sense of providing for the family.
Published on Thursday, February 6, 2014 @ 10:06 AM CDT
New Years Day I was heading to work when I noticed a boy who didn't look older then 20 walking alone with a huge bag hanging from his shoulders. I had planned to grab breakfast before work, so I decided to buy him a meal with a drink. After ordering, I drove towards work where I saw this kid. Kid had some speed because he was way further up the road than I imagined. I pulled to the side and called him over. I asked him if he was ok or needed any help. At that time I could see in his eyes he needed help and was homeless. I handed him the food and drink and told him to enjoy and be safe. I had asked if he was homeless and he explained yes. I asked where he was going and he said he had no family here and that he was walking downtown to the bus station. I explained I would offer a ride but I had to get back to work. When I came back to work, I noticed it wasn't too far from lunch and told my lead what I did and about the kid. I had asked if I could give him a ride. Something inside me kept telling me to try and ask. He agreed and I was off. I found him miles down and he got in. The smile on his face and him kept thanking me, was all I needed. He explained how he got homeless and it came down to being accused of taking money. He said how they ended up finding the money from another relative but he still was homeless. His dad had told him to never call and didn't want anything to do with him. I remind you this was the first day of the new year. We got to the bus station, I handed him my number told him to call anytime and let him know people care. I handed him the $50 to help for a bus ticket. He hugged me and said thank you like 20 times. Here was a young man 20yrs old on his own trying to make it. Since that day, I have done several little things to help others, but at the same time, it made me a better person.
Published on Thursday, February 6, 2014 @ 10:03 AM CDT
Because I had my own unplanned pregnancy when I was young, I know the Importance of this Organization when you feel alone and scared and not sure where to turn. I reached out to this Organization over 32 years ago and they guided and counseled me through a very rough time. Most importantly it was through this organization that I found what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My life has never been the same. I now have a grown son who I am extremely proud of and seeing the type of father he is with his own children is more than I could have ever hoped for. When I contacted them they told me that now had parenting classes and they have a monthly drawing and give a $25 dollar gift certificates away to someone who has attended the class. This seemed like the perfect place to give my $50.00.
Published on Thursday, February 6, 2014 @ 9:45 AM CDT
During this past weekend, a group of us who had gathered to celebrate one of the grand-dads who turned 90, decided to continue the celebration and go out. The younger group went clubbing and as all clubbers know, you have to stop at Whataburger to recharge the system. So at 2am our family group of 10 showed up at a nearby Whatburger, ordered our food and found a corner section were we could all eat together and continue catching up on where and what we had been doing the past years since we were last together. During this time I kept getting a glimpse of an old gentlemen, who was huddled in a booth across from us. He looked like he was trying to get a little bit of warm sleep. His bag across from him looked like it was all that he owned. I sat there thinking how loud we were talking about what we had and what we were doing and thought to my self he needs a helping hand. As time approached 3am, we got up to leave. I left him with the $50 and said God bless you. We walked outside and stood for a little longer in the parking lot saying our goodbyes. I could see the gentlemen from where we were at. He was having a hard time holding back the tears. I know in my heart this $50 could get him thru another week, hoping that it would be enough to get that spark of life back in him.
Published on Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 9:27 AM CDT