Inspiring Geneorsity


It’s Almost Valentine’s Day: Love Your People

                                        You can do this...with crayons! @pixabay

I love writing this blog. Know why? Because I find some of the most fascinating information in my deep quest for knowledge…on the internet.

Let’s take this week’s exploration: Valentine’s Day. Wow. I didn’t expect it to be so complicated or, frankly, so depressing. Did you know, the origins of Valentine’s Day are not all that clear? Nor, is the identity of the “real” St. Valentine. Rumor has it there might have been up to eleven of them. The Romans, supposedly, had a pre-internet dating ritual that took place from February 13-15. It had something to do with sacrificed goats and a dog while bachelors selected the names of their “sweethearts” from urns. Geesh. Those lovesick ancient Romans definitely set the bar high.
Eventually, poor St. Valentine (one of them) was martyred. In a prescient move, legend has it that prior to his demise, he sent a note to his jailer’s daughter signed, “Your Valentine.” And Hallmark rejoiced.

Fun facts aside, what does this have to do with you?
Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity for you to say, “thank you” and “you’re swell” to the people in your congregation or organization.
Here are some quick tips:
1. Keep it fun. Life is too serious. Think of something goofy to say in a hand-made card (the more bad puns the better). Or, pick up a batch of SpongeBob SquarePants Valentine’s cards, sign ‘em and pass them out.
2. Be true to you. It’s good to step out of your strait-laced comfort zone once in a while but – if you prefer to be more toned down – a simple: “Valentine’s Day gives me a chance to thank you for all you do” is just fine too. Add a piece of chocolate for bonus points.
3. Make the time. You’ve still got a week and a half before the big day. By setting aside time to thank people in a fun and meaningful way, you’ll be changed…and for the better. One of my favorite stories of transformation came from a pastor who signed (with a note) 100 Valentine’s cards for people in her church. By the end of the exercise she said, “You know what? I fell in love with my congregation all over again.”
Need other ideas about how to celebrate?

Write a note of gratitude in your e-newsletter.
Make a dozen “thank you” calls.
Create a Valentine’s thank you video and send it to your email list.
For more ideas, check out the Clarification article – “8 Strategies to Celebrate Nonprofit Donors on Valentine’s Day.”
The state of our world can leave us feeling overwhelmed or just kind of “blah.” Taking the time to celebrate people interjects some well-needed joy and frivolity into life. It’s a way to surprise and delight. The real St. Valentine might not have fared well (an understatement if there ever was one), but you, dear friends, will triumph by making someone’s day so much brighter if you see and recognize them on February 14th. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. In case you’ve missed it, she’d like for you to hear the lilting melody of the “SpongeBob SquarePants” theme song. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity or at CesieScheuermann.com.

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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.