Happy weekend to you all, especially those of you lucky enough to read this post. Yes, the fact that you are reading this post means you have light and data which is a lot more than most people have. :)
I want to share two experiences and a chance with you on being #AllHeartsAlways to the needy around you. Over the years, I have done my best to sensitise people on the need to reach out and help as many people as they can. I know a lot of you might be thinking that you have to have a lot to make an impact in the lives of another, but that is so not so. With as little as N200, you can help a hungry person feed, with as little as N1000 you can help someone buy a piece of cloth they can wear to keep them warm or covered, or perhaps even pay for their school fees with as little as N1000. Now I know there are many scammers out there pretending to be in dire need or whatnot but the key is to just reach out, verify and help and by doing so, you do your bit for humanity.
At the beginning of the week, I noticed that one of our cleaners at my workplace came to work with her hair undone. I knew that she probably did not have the money to make the hair, seeing as it was towards the end of the month and I knew she was not that buoyant because of her present family situation. I wondered how I could be of help to her without embarrassing her and then I came up with a plan.
I put N2000 in an envelope and wrote a short note in it, asking her to go and make her hair and look good. She was taken aback and expressed gratitude. I kept wondering if the money was going to be enough for her to do something nice but when she resumed at work the next morning, I could not believe my eyes. She had the loveliest hairdo on and she looked way better than she did the previous day. I smiled and got on with my day but about an hour later, she ambushed me in the restroom, knelt down clutching me and kept thanking and praying for me. Now, I was embarrassed and tried to pull her up to her feet. She wasn't having none of that embarrassment nor humility as she kept praying, thanking and clinging to me. I couldn't believe the impact a mere sum of N2000 had on this young lady and it moved me to tears. My point is this, every little you can give helps the needy. Nothing is too small, your trash could be their treasure so just be as #AllHeartsAlways as you can.
The second experience I wanted to share was with another young lad I came upon. He looked so forlorn that I couldn't but ask what the probelem was. He said he was hungry and hadn't eaten all day. I was gobsmacked because I had only had a coffee all day myself but I wasn't hungry because I didn't have money or a choice, I just hadn't had the time to go and get proper food. Here was a young lad hard at work but without money to eat because his meagre wages were yet to be paid. I felt his pain in my heart because he did look faint and hungry. I gave him N1000 and he was overwhelmed. I ordered him to go and get something to eat and when I saw him a few minutes afterwards, he had eaten and looked much better and bouncier. I was pleased and satisfied. That N1000 made a HUGE difference to him.
Even though it burdens and bothers me when I see people in genuine need and I know I cannot solve everyone's problems nor meet all their needs, there's a peaceful satisfaction that settles on me when I am #AllHeartsAlways to others in need every time. It spurs me to want to do way more for others and by sharing these stories, I hope they spur you to action too.
The chance I talked about sharing earlier is about joining the 1k Miracle Group. The 1k Miracle group is a group I'm a part of, where members part with a minimum of N1000 bi-monthly and on every last Saturday of the month, volunteers in the group take the cash to Gbagada General Hospital and share them amongst the needy. The essence of the group is create a miracle for unsuspecting yet needy patients and their families. Some members donate way more than the minimum towards this cause, but the truth is that every little you do for or give to others always goes a long way.
Imagine your child lying critically ill on a hospital bed and you don't have even a tenth of the bill you've been given to treat them. You have made calls upon calls yet no one seems to be able to give or loan you the money you need to save your child. So you stand and stare and say a prayer for a miracle
(in Nigeria, we are all living on miracles because the system does NOTHING for us) to save your child and then you see a small group of young men and ladies walk up to you to ask what the problem is. You tell them, they comfort you and hand over to you, a wad of a little more than the cash you need. You stare in shock, disbelief and an overwhelming relief that everything is going to be alright eventually. THAT is what the 1k Miracle Group does for complete strangers, every last Saturday of the month. The plan is to spread the miracles across to other hospitals with time and thereby reach out to more people.
The group was created last December by a wonderful friend of mine called Chile, who combines being a wife, mother, banker and an entrepreneur with this charity work. I don't know how she finds the time and energy but she is doing a great work of managing the group and coordinating the visits and disbursement of funds. One thing that sets 1k Miracle group apart is the transparency of it all via the daily updates as the funds roll in and afterwards. Since we began in December, below is the breakdown of amounts raised and expended on total stranger in dire need of money to sort their medical bills.
Dec -114k Jan - 210k Feb - 211k March - 571k April - 625k May 681k June 900k...July 805k Aug 770k Sep 772k Oct 700k. With 1k donations we have blessed people with over N6.359M.
You can be a blessing to others as well, in your one way. You can ask me to hook you up with Chile and get added to the 1K Miracle group. You can chose to feed a driver, guard or cleaner in your office this week and beyond with a little sum. You can choose to genuinely check up on your colleagues, greet them, inquire about how they are faring, give them a hug or handshake to assure them of better days ahead. You can choose to smile at a total stranger just to brighten up their day. You can chose to burst into a random dance step to cheer someone else up. You can choose joy. What you can't do is to look away and do nothing while the needy are left suffering and in despair around you.