Three Jars – One Approach to Giving Back, Saving, and Having Fun

written by Will Gray
9 · 05 · 22
giving back to your community

The Power of Giving Back: A Young Philanthropist’s Journey

From a tender age, I embraced the joy of giving back. As a child in Stamford, CT, with a modest allowance, I never realized that my small contributions would lead to a lifetime of making a difference. My journey in working with nonprofits and the concept of giving back started simply, yet profoundly, with three jars.

Three Jars: The Foundation of My Nonprofit Journey

My mother introduced me to a system that would shape my perspective on giving back. She allocated three jars for me: one for spending, one for savings, and one crucially for giving back to our community. This early lesson in financial responsibility and philanthropy allowed me to impact lives significantly. Whether it was providing Thanksgiving meals for needy families, Christmas presents for at-risk children, or helping to build homes in New England, these acts of giving back were transformative.

How I Learned to Give Back Through Chores and Charity

Growing up, my allowance wasn’t just handed to me; it was earned through chores. From mowing the lawn to shoveling snow, I learned the value of hard work. The unique twist was how I allocated my earnings: evenly split into savings, spending, and most importantly, the charity jar. This practice of giving back, which I initially thought was common among my peers, set the stage for my profound impact in the realm of nonprofits.

The Charity Jar – Making a Difference by Giving Back

Choosing a charity was more than just a task; it was a journey into empathy and understanding, guided thoughtfully by my mother. Her questions about my interests and views on the world’s injustices led me to deeply consider where my contributions could be most impactful.

This method of giving back was an eye-opening experience, broadening my horizon to the various challenges faced by people and introducing me to organizations dedicated to alleviating these struggles. The act of giving back, at its core, became a profound learning exercise that shaped my perspective on the world.

The realization of the impact of my actions hit me profoundly when I learned that my donation had provided Thanksgiving meals for 15 families. That day, as a 12-year-old, I was engulfed in a whirlwind of emotions – pride, compassion, love, and an overwhelming sense of fulfillment.

To know that I, in my small way, had made a significant difference in the lives of these families was both humbling and exhilarating. It was a pivotal moment, etching in my heart the undeniable power and joy of giving back. This experience ignited a resolve within me to continue helping people, a commitment that has only grown stronger with time.

Giving Back: From Allowance to Impact

Today, my commitment to giving back extends well beyond my local community, reaching across continents. In Africa, my work with the Tanzanian Children’s Fund has been a heartening journey. By collaborating with this organization, I have helped improve the lives of underprivileged children, providing them with educational resources, health care, and a nurturing environment.

This experience in Tanzania has been incredibly fulfilling, witnessing firsthand how even small contributions can make a significant difference in the lives of these children. Their smiles and progress are a testament to the power of giving back, fueling my passion to do more.

Back home, my involvement with our family foundation has taken a unique turn. We focus on inspiring the younger generation to embrace philanthropy. By creating programs that engage children in charitable activities, we’re planting the seeds of compassion and social responsibility.

Additionally, my commitment to education led me to give back to my alma mater through scholarships. In these ways, my journey of giving back has come full circle, from a child learning the value of charity to an adult facilitating similar lessons for others.

Closing Thoughts on the Importance of Giving Back

This journey of teaching children the essence of giving back is more than a method; it’s a movement toward cultivating a more compassionate and responsible future generation. Regardless of the approach, the core principle remains the same: embedding the spirit of community service and philanthropy early in life lays the foundation for a more empathetic and proactive society.

I sincerely hope my story serves as a source of inspiration and a call to action. I encourage you to reach out, share your experiences, and join in the conversation about how we, together, can continue to make a meaningful difference in the world. Your insights, questions, and stories are not just welcomed, they are essential in this collective journey of making the world a better place, one small act of kindness at a time.

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Will Gray - Graystone, LLC - Consultant

Will Gray

Will Gray is the dynamic and strategic-thinking founder of Graystone, a leading consulting firm renowned for its custom-tailored business solutions. With his exceptional leadership and sales optimization skills, Will has orchestrated remarkable business growth for a broad portfolio of clients across multiple sectors. His knack for lead generation, digital marketing, and innovative sales techniques have placed Graystone at the forefront of the industry. Above all, Will's client-centric approach serves as the heart of Graystone's operations, constantly seeking to align the firm's services with clients' visions, and positioning their success as a measure of his own. His commitment to building long-lasting relationships, coupled with his relentless pursuit of client satisfaction, sets Will apart in the competitive business consulting landscape.

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