March 29, 2017
A friend of ours recently shared this compassionate story of how she was inspired by another donor we featured, The Cheerful Giver. It is a story of giving at its finest- when philanthropy grows because we are inspired by someone who is simply serving their neighbors. We hope you enjoy this touching tale and are inspired to help a neighbor as well.
A few months ago, I took my car to the repair shop. My car had over 130,000 miles and was the primary transporter for my family of five. However, it was beginning to need many major repairs and my husband and I were considering trading it in for a newer, more reliable car. While at the shop, another customer forgot to put his car in park and left his door open, resulting in a long scratch along the side of my car. For the sake of this story, I will refer to this customer as Mr. Neighbor. At first, when the owner of the shop reached out to me to explain the situation, I was annoyed. The shop owner assured me Mr. Neighbor wanted to pay for the damage so I reached out to Mr. Neighbor, frustrated that he was adding one more ‘to-do’ on my long list. When I called him, I immediately felt the worry this event was causing him and assured him it was nothing to fret over- after all, it was just a car.
One week later, after multiple trips to the shop, we decided to trade in my car and I forgot about Mr. Neighbor. The scratch was no longer an issue as we had a new, reliable car. But then Mr. Neighbor called. And texted. And left a few messages. I let him know that we no longer had the car and thanked him for his honesty. But Mr. Neighbor was insistent and met me at my work to give me an appreciated, but not necessary, gift. While I appreciated the gesture, the most touching part was his note, where he referenced Matthew 22:35-40 and thanked me for treating him as his neighbor.
The note reminded me about the Cheerful Giver, who I recently read about from Central Carolina Community Foundation. An ordinary person anonymously treating nonprofits in our community to unsolicited gifts in appreciation of their efforts to serve our neighbors. I knew what I needed to do. A great local organization is receiving an anonymous gift made in honor of Mr. Neighbor. The gift is a thank you for him reminding me that we are all neighbors and need to support and help one another. That is what philanthropy is all about…serving our neighbors. Philanthropy supports local organizations, who work to support and lift up our neighbors and communities. I am grateful for that scratch and for what Mr. Neighbor reminded and taught me. From now on, Mr. Neighbor will always be known just as my neighbor.