The Law of Giving does not answer “What’s in it for me?” Rather it is a selfless act of sharing of what one has. It is a genuine care. There should never be any personal motive behind it nor an expectation of something in return. Every single cent that’s donated should go to a correct beneficiary. A missing cent that goes to one’s pocket is already an act of stealing.

Times are tough these days and people’s hard-earned dollars are important. Hence, when one donates, people want to ensure that the money will go to the right beneficiary and money spent the right way. Unless one is a billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates or James Packer who can donate millions and still manage to live an extravagant lifestyle, an ordinary fundraiser should have a modest lifestyle at least in the public eye.

Remember the story of Mother Teresa of Calcutta who was criticised for flying business class? People wondered why a woman who professed humility and charity was flying business class. The same critics were later on embarrassed to learn that Mother Teresa always bought economy tickets but was routinely bumped up to business class by flight attendants because they respected and felt honoured serving her.

When one gives, returns can be in various forms such as a thank-you from an innocent kid. Fast forward this kid was given a paper and a pad from a charity event and was inspired to write then, later on, became a famous writer. Or a depressed single mum who was about to lose hope and commit suicide when given a bag of goodies then persevered because she found hope from a simple gesture of giving.

If we have a “name and shame” where we publicly report a person doing something wrong, we should also name selfless Filipino-Australians helping our kababayans back home. They are quiet achievers, quiet givers of hope who prefer to be at the backstage doing their own charities.

There are lots of Filos who have charity works in their own special ways. Sion Mcneely, Midel Santos Stokes, Nelson, Estrella and Bella Exposito are some of the humble heroes. Sion has been feeding her entire street in the province on special occasions. Midel has a growing list of scholars now reaching a hundred. Nelson has a few scholars, one is now a registered nurse living permanently in Australia, and Bella has been distributing food during calamities in the Philippines. As the Bible says, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

While we have quiet donors, some need to announce their work publicly for special reasons such as to get more donors. Making it public also sets a good example to the community and reminds them about their duties to the less fortunate ones.

When we give, we not only help someone in need but we make a difference.

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