So I belong to a business organization that in addition to helping me connect to the business community and some wonderful people, helps its community through giving out new and used laptops to students, charity organizations and dislocated adult workers.
It has done some wonderful things through its donations, but on occasion things happen that dishearten us.
Soon after a recent give-away, a concerned citizen alerted us to a woman who had received a brand new computer from the organization on behalf of her son, selling it hours later on Facebook.
There is little we can do about it. The laptop had left our hands and while she clearly misrepresented herself and committed fraud, the value of the laptop wasn’t high enough for us to take much action.
And that leads to the topic – the art of giving. The act of giving isn’t really that hard. What is hard is giving knowing that once the item leaves one’s hands, it’s beyond the giver’s control. It’s an art to let it go.
The organization will continue to give because for every one person who represents herself/himself fraudulently taking advantage of someone’s generosity, there are dozens and dozens more who are truly grateful and make good on the gift.
The organization has given out over 900 refurbished computers and a few hundred brand new laptops thanks to a generous grant by an anonymous local donor. And I have been privileged to see many of the children and adults who have received these gifts. Most are excited, all are grateful and some are even overcome with emotions because that computer or laptop means they can work on getting that job, writing that school paper, or connect with faraway family members.
So the hurt at betrayal will pass, and the joy at giving will come once again.
And to the person who took a laptop away from someone who could truly benefit from it to sell it hours later online, I truly hope that you sold that laptop because you desperately needed to feed your family and not so you could splurge on some fancy dinner.