Thanks for Giving!

When was the last time you said to someone, Thanks for Giving? I am realizing more and more that Marshall County is a unique rural community when it comes to giving. People from Greater Marshall County give in so many ways and give so freely. Some give monetarily, other give through formal volunteerism, and many give in ways no one will ever see publically.

But, what makes it more probable that we as rural givers are more likely to contribute to a cause versus our urban counterparts? Here are a few statistics I found through a little research:

1. Rural givers contribute statistically a higher percentage of their income than urban givers (3.0% vs. 2.6%).
2. Rural givers are also more likely than urban givers to give to charity because they feel that charities provide public services more effectively than government or private businesses.
3. For rural givers the following things attribute to a higher percentage of charitable giving: Education level, health condition, religious attendance, tax itemization, wealth, income, and volunteering experience.
4. The percentage of giving to religious causes by rural givers was higher than the share of their giving to secular causes (17% vs. 11%).
5. Together, rural and urban Americans donate over $300 billion a year to charitable causes that are meaningful to them.

Those statistics may prove what we already know in Greater Marshall County, however, I sense there is something deeper here in our small part of the world that makes us shine even more brightly than many other rural communities…I believe it is because we are giving with gratitude. We are a community that sees a need and supports it because we love where we live; we cherish our neighbors; and we are daily grateful for what we have. Giving with gratitude is obvious in people’s actions and provides us all with countless benefits including increased social connection and well-being and even improved health and optimism. Giving with gratitude has helped us thrive, be strong, and resilient as a community of Greater Marshall County.

I challenge you to leave your legacy of gratitude and do something special for a giver in your life. Find a unique way to tell them, Thanks for Giving!

2 Corinthians 9:7- You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”