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What Does Generosity Mean to You?

We are grateful to everyone who has opened their arms and hearts to us by sharing these powerful and inspiring stories. Thank you.

Click here to submit your own stories and thoughts about what generosity means to you.

Generosity makes of my life a conduit for abundance working from the principle that you have to empty your hand to put more into it.
I am always moved by the reading about having freely received our blessings so freely giving in return. Even in these trying financial times, I find that I would rather cut even personal necessities rather than reduce my giving. The giving is a nourishing source of joy.”
Rev. Susan M. Smith, Shreveport, LA

When I think of generosity I think of the amazing impact that former members of our congregation continue to have every year by leaving us gifts in their wills. Their bequests mean that we not only remember them fondly but also get to enjoy special music performances, send our religious education students on additional learning experiences, have help maintaining our building, and can do more social action projects. What a loving and generous legacy!
Christy Multer, Schenectady, NY

Generosity means compassion which comes in various forms. It comes at unexpected moments and when congregation members step forward with meals to homes where there is a newborn or someone with struggles that illness and/or unemployment bring. It's partnering with other congregations in the area and working at Room at the Inn (a community effort to house folks who are homeless) and supporting the Alternative Gift Fair.

I have been upheld by the generosity of members and friends of the Marquette UU Congregation when my partner passed away, when I needed a pet-sitter, when we needed extra homes for overnight stays for out-of-town guests, when the children of the congregation host a Heifer Dinner and Valentine Tea, when we support youth going to help in New Orleans or youth and medical professionals in Haiti...and most recently for the emotional support my daughter and I are receiving when she had to fly home unexpectedly from Peru. I have a deep appreciation, not only for our little congregation, but for the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) as a whole. Thank you for all your work.

Generosity is, to me, the very expression of spirituality in the world. When I give, my spirit is replenished. This season, my siblings and friends have all decided we have enough "stuff," and that the world's citizens have greater we are each giving to our favorite charities in each other's names. Although my income is restricted because I am retired and only working part-time, I am amazed to find that the more I give, the more I have...a little like "the loaves and the fishes."  I so enjoy giving to my local Boys and Girls Club, the Food Bank in the city where one of my sisters lives, to Dr. Greg Mortenson's Central Asia Institute to help girls and women go to school and to many others including our very own UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee). I have all I need, the gift is in finding ways to give away all I don't need that might help someone else.

Note: These stories are contributed by individual Unitarian Universalists; the content remains the opinion or statement of the contributor.

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Last updated on Thursday, September 8, 2011.

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