Small acts of generosity can have a huge impact
The problem: Horrendous news events day after day. Anger and fear abound. People are worried about the future concerned that we are more divided than ever.
What do we do about it? It is time to focus on helping others in small ways.
Rabbi Daniel Cohen of Congregation Agudath Sholom, in Stamford, Conn. and Pastor Greg Doll of Norton Presbyterian Church, in Darien, Conn. have joined together and created the Elijah Moments Campaign which encourages people to be like Elijah and spread light in the midst of darkness.
Each of us is encouraged to become our own Elijah by simply doing something nice for someone else.
Not to get anything out of it. Not for recognition (although that may come), but just because it will make them (and you) feel good.
Here are ten ideas you can use anytime, anywhere to become an Elijah to someone in need.
1. If someone runs out of money at the grocery store in front of you, pay the difference. Better still, just buy all their groceries.
2. Give the clerk at the coffee stand an extra ten bucks and say they should pay for the next person. In fact, give them a twenty and say for the next four people!
3. At a restaurant, ask the waiter or waitress to give you the bill of one of the other patrons and then pay for them without letting them know it was you.
4. Pay the bridge toll of the person behind you.
5. Instead of ignoring the panhandler on the corner, give them 5 bucks and wish them a Merry Christmas.
6. Take ten one-dollar bills, and drop $1 into the hands of the next ten beggars you see along the street on the way to work.
7. Go through your home and put together a package of clothes, phones, tools, appliances, and furniture you don’t need or want any more, and drop it off at the Salvation Army or another bona-fide charity organization.
8. Got a collection of old cars on your property? Donate a car to NPR.
9. Call up your rabbi or pastor and offer to buy or sponsor toys and dinners for needy families.
10. Go to the local woman’s or children’s shelter and donate money to help needy families improve their holidays.
11. Make a donation to a local community organization that works with the poor.
12. Give some money to a local school, church, synagogue or club and ask that it be used to help the needy.
Small gestures are not insignificant. Sometimes even the smallest gestures are the most impactful.
Rabbi Cohen and Pastor Doll believe that with simple acts of generosity we can transform our entire world and make it a better place for everyone.
For more inspiration visit, www.rabbidanielcohen.com.
RABBI DANIEL COHEN is with Congregation Agudath Sholom, in Stamford, Conn.