Merriam-Webster defines the noun altruism as: “unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others.” What Merriam-Webster doesn’t give, however, is a description of the feeling created by the act.
Last week For Kids Foundation received a request from a newly single dad of three. Current family, life, and work situations have left dad struggling to meet the immediate needs of his children.
After providing Dad with referrals to the Children’s Cabinet and the local Boys and Girls Club for additional resources, For Kids Foundation approved funding of up to $500 for three quality twin bed mattresses. We were able to obtain the mattresses at a deep discount from Reno Mattress Company, a local company supporting many nonprofits in town. With the remaining funds, the Board approved the purchase of new shoes.
I met Dad and the kids at Famous Footwear at the Outlets at Legends last week and was able to purchase one pair of “cool” shoes for each child.
Here’s where the feeling of altruism came into play: After seeing the joy on their faces and hearing the gratitude expressed by Dad, as I drove away, I experienced a lump form in the back of my throat and my eyes stung from held-back tears. This is what it is all about—easing the burden, bringing joy, and offering nonjudgmental help to another human being.
Last Friday was really no exception: every day I get to celebrate the positive effects of our work. I’ve been given the amazing opportunity to be a steward of funds to provide financial aid to kids in need in Northern Nevada. Some needs are simple and relatively inexpensive; whereas, others are costly and may even be life-altering. Yet each and every need plays an important role in a child’s life.
How would you describe the feeling of altruism?