Sometimes people are just good people. Usually these good people are full of gratitude for what they have and they share it. It is their way of saying thank you for all they have. In 2015 the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award was awarded to John and Tashia Morgridge. John became a part of Cisco Systems as president and chief executive officer in 1998 and quickly led the company into becoming a publicly traded company that was known as a technological powerhouse. Tashia had studied at the University of Wisconsin and was a special education teacher. As a couple, they became known for their charitable giving.
Quoting from The Tech.org website which announced this award, given each year by the Tech Museum of Innovation, the Morgridge’s philanthropically have sought to improve education worldwide, “and they have done much of that giving through the TOSA Foundation, named after the high school where they met. The Morgridges have supported the University of Wisconsin’s research facilities, special education programs and scholarships, founding the Morgridge Center for Public Service and establishing the Morgridge Institute for Research, a biomedical institute. They are also generous supporters of literacy programs in East Palo Alto, Calif.; Tashia has long devoted herself to improving educational opportunities in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Internationally they donate principally through CARE, an organization dedicated to fighting poverty, and The Nature Conservancy.”
Other people need a wake-up call. Jon Huntsman, Sr. is well known as the founder of a global chemical manufacturing company. What might not be as well known is that he gives away a great deal of his income. He became a serious humanitarian in 1992 after a diagnosis of prostate cancer. En route to the hospital, he wrote a one million dollar check to a homeless shelter, another to a local soup kitchen feeding the homeless and poor, and half a million dollars to the clinic that first diagnosed and discovered his tumor. He later began his own cancer foundation at a cost of over one billion dollars.
This humanitarian has long been giving away his money, which totals well into the billion dollar range. Founder of a global chemical manufacturer, his serious giving days began in 1992 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. On his way to the hospital, he gave a one million dollar check to a homeless shelter, another million to a soup kitchen, and $500,000 to the clinic that first found the malignancy. Huntsman would go on to found his own cancer foundation, which cost him more than one billion dollars alone. His donations have even gone so far as to knock him of the Forbes list of wealthiest individuals.
Recently a librarian named Robert Morin at the University of New Hampshire died. A bachelor who lived a simple life, friends were stunned to learn that Morin left an estate worth four million dollars to the school where he worked. He requested a certain amount be designated as going to the library. Robert Morin watched an estimated twenty-two thousand movies and read over two thousand books and he wanted to show his gratitude for the opportunity the library had afforded him in checking these out. He also wanted others to have that same opportunity.
Volunteering to be a mentor or, if you do not feel academically capable, volunteering to help behind the scenes at such locations, is a perfect start to show thankfulness and help your local community and doesn’t require a large bank account. Baking or providing cookies for support groups or even local first responders is an easy first step. Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is another program which is great for living gratitude and they have training sessions to help you get started.
If making hats or weaving plastic bags into water proof mats is more your style, your local homeless shelter would be happy for donations of your handiwork. One of the easiest ways to make a blanket is to purchase a yard of flannel and then fringe each end. That is done by cutting slits five inches long on either end. The strips become fringe and the blankets is an easy yet warm addition to any homeless person’s bedroll, lightweight yet a good layering insulator for cold nights.
Hopefully, you will not wait until you have a diagnosis of a life-altering or possible life-ending disease. It doesn’t take a million-dollar paycheck to life a grateful life. Another description of a grateful life is a life of grace. We all have the ability to help another and when we show gratitude for that which we have, we receive grace. Life is really just that simple sometimes.