Inspiring Generosity


Even During a Pandemic: Financial Generosity and Volunteering are Intertwined

           Pretty volunteer hands...make sure they're washed!

After 29 years of faithful service, my Whirlpool dryer gave up the ghost on Friday. Neither my newly-discovered ability to fix appliances nor my laying-on-of-hands could overcome its demise. When I told Kelley at Lowe’s about my dryer’s longevity, behind the mask and with his head shaking, it was clear that I would never meet a dryer like this again. “If you get six years out of this new one, you’ve got your money’s worth,” he said. Dryer, I’ve known you for nearly half my life but, it’s time to let you go. Thanks for your service.

Speaking of service, volunteering is a great way to express and increase generosity!
The coronavirus has stopped many things, but reaching out and serving others should not be one of them. Granted, it’s harder to find things to do, especially when normal communications have been turned upside down. But that shouldn’t stop you from thinking outside the box. There’s no better time to socially distance and make a difference in the life of your community and frankly, in your own life as well.
Mayo Clinic says there are at least six health benefits to volunteering. It…
1. Decreases the risk of depression.
2. Gives a sense of purpose and teaches valuable skills.
3. Helps people stay physically and mentally active.
4. May reduce stress levels.
5. May help you live longer.
6. Helps you meet others and develop new relationships.
During this time of isolation, remember: Give people the opportunity to serve. Need some ideas?

     - Assign people to write cards or make phone calls.
     - Gather small groups to clean up a park or tend a community garden.
     - Encourage people to share their garden bounties with the Food Bank or their  neighbors.
     - Suggest parishioners walk laps and raise money like newly-knighted 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore.
And, there could be a connection between people who volunteer and their financial generosity. In 2018, the Barna Group conducted a study on “The Relationship Between Volunteering and Giving.” The top three most generous things a person can do?

1. Take care of someone who is ill (quite timely in these COVID days) – 57%.
2. Volunteer for an organization (take note, churches) – 52%.
3. Sign up to be an organ donor – 30%.
Barna found that “…Christians who give most [financially] are also most likely to say they have volunteered within the last week or month.”
Whether they are volunteering or giving financially, “Christians prone to participate in one type of giving aren’t looking to get a pass on the other. Whether giving money or of time, generous Christians are simply generous.”
Financial generosity and service are in our God-given DNA. They are both life-giving and life-affirming. And guess what? Their combined impact will far outlast a 29-year-old Whirlpool dryer any 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. Here’s her PSA message to you: Wear your mask. If you’re in doubt, watch this hilarious “Uncle Rob” video. 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.