Why I Give by Sharon Wyche, Hospice Volunteer

"Generosity: Freely giving or sharing things we value for the benefit of others.."

For one year now I have given my time as an In-Home Volunteer with Hospice SLO.  We focus on providing emotional comfort and companionship to our client, and respite care for the caregiver.  I know personally that we as End-Of-Life Doulas make a difference to our client and to the family members. Recently one of my clients died and while I talked to her husband afterwards he expressed his thanks for knowing there was someone else who knew his wife, who cared about her, who sat beside her, and also was there for him as he needed to talk about her and his future without her.

In the fall I participated in Giving University’s class on “High Impact Generosity”.  Giving University (GU) is a non-profit organization.  This is a free course, taught in the classroom and via webcast video conferencing, to inspire and guide students in the benefits of generosity for others.  After my application was accepted and classes began, I was instructed to find a non-profit organization within a 60-mile radius from my home to evaluate and I picked Hospice SLO.

We learned how to investigate a non-profit organization and determine its impact in our community. With the resources given to us by GU and www.guidestar.org we reviewed the 990 tax forms that non-profits are require to file. We learned how to read these forms to look for the salaries of the employees, the source of revenue (fund raisers, grants or donations), and how revenue was utilized.

Ultimately, we were encouraged to write a grant proposal to be presented to the GU board of directors showing all the facts, tax information, community impact and reasons we choose our non-profit organization. There were 55 students in this fall class and each submitted a grant. 34 student grant requests met the criteria of GU and a $1,000.00 grant check was given to each. Hospice SLO County meet their criteria and I was fortunate to be given a grant check, which I promptly gave to Kris Kington-Barker.

We also learned about poverty in the world, the lack of the “Rule of Law” in some developing countries, what can be done to address the issue of “Poverty Orphans” and what is wrong with rich countries continually donating to Third World poor countries. If you are interested in learning more about true non-profits, global poverty and that generosity done right can change the world, please check out Giving University at their website, www.givinguniversity.org.

To more generosity!