Chief Development Officer
As we near the end of the year, many of us will ask, or be asked, “What did you get?” The act of giving and receiving is, in itself, an offering that strengthens the relationship between giver and receiver. When we take a moment to focus on the recipient, we are allowing ourselves to reflect on the bond we share and show the recipient that you were thinking of them.
When we give to others, it benefits not only the recipient but also us as the giver. Giving connects us to others in a very special and unique way and, quite honestly, makes people happy! Too often we may be tempted to say “I don’t need anything” when asked. In fact, I said this just the other day within my own family. But, upon reflection, I realized that I was depriving that person of the joy that can come from giving – I was potentially taking away from him the opportunity to say, “I care for you so much that I wanted to give you something that would let you know.” Don’t worry, I quickly gave him some suggestions the next day
Did you know that the act of giving can spread by up to three degrees? That means, when you behave generously you can inspire others to behave generously later – from person, to person, to person, to person! Wow! What a gift that is! It’s nice to think that an act of generosity can have such a ripple effect within a community!
There are many ways to give and not all of them revolve around money. You can give of your time; you can give your warmth and friendship; or, you can give a listening ear or shoulder to lean (and who couldn’t use THAT this year!).
Over the years it has been obvious that the families, alumnae, alumni and friends of Andrews Osborne Academy are gift givers. I was amazed, during my first year here, how quickly people would ask faculty and staff “what can I do?" or “what do you need?” Whether it was planning and executing “Night at the Races,” volunteering many hours to construct the sets for “Mamma Mia,” or donating food refunds back to the school, the AOA community always rises to the challenge and exhibits countless acts of gift giving! Last year, as everyone’s lives were turned upside down in March on the front end of a national pandemic, your generosity allowed us to surpass our annual fund goal for the first time in several years.
It is far too easy to become cynical today and think the gift we offer will have no impact. But, I would encourage you, as we try and put 2020 behind us, to remember that through giving you have the power to touch the life of another person and you can affect them in ways you may never completely be aware of. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself benefiting from a large measure of happiness in the process.
I wish you all a peaceful and healthy holiday season spent with those you cherish doing things you love!