A few weeks ago one of my co-workers mentioned she was in the process of granting a ‘Gift of Kindness‘. Curious, I asked her what a Gift of Kindness specifically was. She explained that a Gift of Kindness is a onetime grant given through the Columbus Foundation to individuals who may experience an unanticipated setback, and are in need of immediate financial assistance. Gifts of Kindness can include money for rent, modes of transportation, utilities or a variety of other needs. In my co-worker Caitlin’s case, the Gift of Kindness was a new washer and dryer for one of her clients.
After doing some research, I learned the Gift of Kindness Fund was established in 2014 when an anonymous donor contributed $500,000 in an effort to encourage the Columbus community to share kindness in any way they could, whether that be through volunteering, donating, or simply a kind act. Usually the gifts are something we take for granted everyday such as the washer and dryer. Such seemingly simple gifts are huge for those most desperate in trying to move forward and stay independent. A Gift of Kindness may enable them to do so!
On Monday, I had the chance to visit Louise’s* home with Caitlin. When we pulled up to her condo, the Lowe’s truck was waiting outside and we knew we were at the right place. As Louise welcomed us into her home, it was easy to grasp the sense of excitement that she felt. She eagerly led us downstairs, ready to show us her brand new whirlpool washer and dryer. Louise was absolutely thrilled, to say the least.
As Louise faces many challenges, receiving a washer and dryer allows her to stay in the comfort of her home and move forward without sacrificing rent, food, or other necessities. Without this Gift of Kindness, it could have created unbearable amounts of obstacles for Louise, ones that could have produced a domino effect, even leading to possible loss of her home. The Gifts of Kindness offered through the Columbus Foundation have a tremendous impact on individuals and families. The goal is to create permanent solutions to what could be permanent problems.
While the fellows did not have a meeting this week at the Columbus Foundation, I found my Columbus Foundation and LifeCare worlds overlapping as I was able to view a Gift of Kindness in action. It was amazing to see the way in which nonprofits interact to benefit those with crucial needs in our community. The collaboration between the Columbus Foundation and other nonprofits around Columbus, especially LifeCare Alliance, is so important to make sure the needs of all people can be met and those most desperate can receive assistance when needed. The way in which people and organizations work together for the benefit of those needing immediate support has encouraged me to spread kindness wherever I am. As I conclude this post, I encourage those reading to share a gift of kindness this weekend. No matter how small it may be, you can make a difference!
Louise*: The client’s name has been changed to respect the privacy of the client.