The Power of Generosity: Paying it Forward

pay it forward

Today I experienced the power of generosity.  Brenda and I had lunch at Gordon-Biersch at Destiny USA in Syracuse.  We had a wonderful conversation with Matt Swanner, the General Manager, about David’s Refuge and how we could send our guests to his restaurant to enjoy a quiet meal and a tasty authentic German lager.  When our waitress came to us to give us the bill she told us that the meal was a gift from Matt.  With her few words and Matt’s act of kindness we experienced the power of generosity.  It was unexpected; it was an act of kindness; it breathed life into us.  We left smiling and feeling that someone cared for us.  Matt’s generosity was life giving.

Did you know that generosity begets generosity?  Research at the University of California verified that when a person extends generosity to another, it spurs that person to acts of generosity.  It creates a pay it forward effect of up to 3 degrees of separation. Every time you do one act of generosity to an individual it has the potential of reaching out and touching someone 3 levels away.  Last week I saw this video online that supports this truth in a very powerful and moving way.  Take a moment and check it out:

Brenda and I started David’s Refuge with the desire to “pay it forward”.  Through our thirteen years of caring for David we experienced generosity over and over again.   Howard and Liz allowed us to stay in their condo in Lake Placid…Make a Wish sent us on a cruise…Mom and Dad financed respite caregivers so we could take a break,…our church and friends sent us to Focus on the Family in Colorado for a week…David and Peg and their daughters sent us to New York City to see the Yankees play and to watch The Lion King.  Each act of kindness, each gesture of generosity reminded us that we were not alone, that what we did everyday in caring for David mattered, and that God loved us.  Every person who reached out to cook a meal, to sit with David and watch the Sound of Music for the 30th time, poured life into us.  And today their acts of kindness continue to touch lives as we pour life and love into our guests at David’s Refuge.

I went through our guest book and pulled out a few quotes from our guests as they mentioned the power of generosity:

“The kindness, generosity and love you show to everyone has restored something inside of us I thought I’d forever lost.  For that we will be forever grateful.”

Thank you so much for your generosity and for welcoming us to David’s Refuge.  It has been such a blessing to stay at this beautiful retreat.

Your hospitality and generosity were above and beyond.  This is the first time in a long time we could truly relax.  Thank you so much for your caring and generosity and thoughtful hospitality.  We feel so blessed to have been able to take a “time out” from our hectic lives and to reconnect with each other.

To those who support David’s Refuge, please realize that your generosity has made a significant difference in the lives of each parent that has stayed at David’s Refuge.  Thank you!!!!!!!!

Who can you be generous with today?  Pay it Forward!  And then come back to this blog and share what you did that it may spur us on to do the same.

PS: If you are wondering what to do for dinner call 315 478-0990 and make reservations at Gordon-Biersch