By Kathy Rehm
I attended a Harvest Time one-day conference in 2012. For this middle class individual on a fixed income this was an eye opener. Here were individuals of wealth, digging in, rolling up their sleeves and getting involved with their charitable activities on a spiritual level. I was so impressed with Harvest Time’s mission and the individuals of wealth working for the common good.
I am on social security. But I also receive a small pension from my days in the corporate world. Here begins my conversation with my money. I decided that the pension money was for me an extra bonus and I decided to tithe to three local not-for-profits. The pension is one hundred and forty seven dollars a month. Not being good at math I rounded the amount off to one hundred and fifty dollars, so that fifteen dollars of it could be divided into five dollars a month to each group.
A friend who is a lawyer who specializes in estate management and is a personal friend helps me pay my bills. When I asked that the fifteen dollars be sent to the three different groups, she tried to convince me I couldn’t afford to do this. I said that I felt I could not afford not to give back a little something. I felt embarrassed about the small amounts I was donating, but the Executive Director of one of the organizations told me, “In these times we are surviving on the ten, twenty, five dollar a month sustaining donations.” Five dollars a month is sixty dollars a year. Maybe that is a case of computer paper, or a tank of gas for a staff member.
For the past two years, every Chinese New Year I have given Rose the traditional red envelope with a one dollar bill, lucky money in the Asian tradition. This year along with the one dollar bill was a pledge to start a five dollar a month sustaining donation to Harvest Time.
I want to make a contribution to the conversation about the spirituality of wealth working for the common good.