Easy Giving Tuesday & #GiftItForward ideas
Giving Tuesday & #GiftItForward ideas always flood me this time of year. I’m sitting in a black cape in the rear of the salon while I write this. I’d like to say no gray hairs have ever graced this head, but that would be a lie. In fact, with every passing year the battle to keep them at bay gets harder and harder.
Some day, I told myself, I’ll just color it all gray and be done with this act of vanity. But that day is not today.
Today I’m watching the clock tick on, enjoying the view of an older gentleman in a bonnet under the dryer across from me, hoping I’ll get a glimpse of his new ‘do before I go.
I also think back to when the gray first showed up. When I was a single mom, working hard to barely keep us afloat, cursing the gray hairs while skillfully balancing my income with our bills. Grateful when I a few dollars left to occasionally mostly match my hair color to a box at Walgreens and wash away the gray for awhile.
That Christmas, a friend had a gift card for a free coloring to a salon she didn’t go to. I’m not sure if it was the bags under my eyes, the obvious roots from a failed color match attempt, or the harsh gray hairs peeking through that tipped her off but she gifted that gift card to me.
She saw me. My struggle and my wants were acknowledged for the first time in a long time that day. I cried. I know there were other things we actually needed at home, but this was needed just as badly. This was needed for my soul.
She was giving me far more than just a little pampering.
I soaked in every moment at the salon that winter. That year I was becoming the solo mom, rock, warrior, and survivor. No regrets came from any of the hard things I was going through, but did miss the little treats I had taken for granted before.
I promised myself two things that day. First, someday all my colors would come from the salon and not the drug store. Secondly, when I got where I was going, I’d turn around to pass along kindness to someone else.
Here I am, 13 years later, in my cape just like you can find me every 8 weeks. This time of year more that any it takes me back to the gift card and promises made.
“…freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8
I call it “Giving It Forward”. A way to take what I am have and bless others. To share my good fortune with them and bless them with a little kindness.
My favorite way to do it this time of year is through gift cards. I receive quite a few each year. Some I’ll use, some I won’t. Many I will only use part of. They used to gather dust in a drawer in my kitchen until “giving it forward” hit me.
Giving Tuesday – #GiftItForward
I gave a gas card for station I am never nearby to a family preparing for a long drive to an important, possibly scary, appointment. I told I found it, I’m not in it for the glory.
If you were behind me at Starbucks, you have likely received a discount on your drink from the gift card balance I left behind for you.
To the lady at the Subway drive thru, I saw those kids bouncing in your backseat. I saw the look on your face. A day’s worth of tasks, appointments, worries, and responsibilities veiling your tired face. I hope the card I left behind put a dent in your bill and a smile on your face.
It’s that easy. Freely we receive gifts and freely we pass them on to those around us. It’s not Earth shattering work, there is no handing out of awards, but smiles will be given out. I think that makes it important work. This December, I’m inviting everyone to join me! Follow me on Instagram and tag @She.Proclaims with the #GiftItForward hashtag to see love spread! You can also donate your balances online to charity at Donate Your Card.
(P.S. I am not sure what the man did. He left before I could see him but my stylist and I agree it doesn’t really matter, that’s a man living his best life for himself. Rock on, sir.)