Yesterday, our company participated in a local Food Drive for the food bank. We all pitched in, and the boss bought a huge pallet of food to put on the food bank truck. I filled up three big bags just from my cupboards. Not entirely with chickpeas and lima beans, either, there was some food people would actually eat in there.
(When I was done my cupboards weren’t exactly bare. I have a bit of a hoarding issue when it comes to non-perishable food items. Um…can you tell the zombies to delay their attack until I’ve had a chance to restock? Great, thanks.)
I felt pretty good about that. Then, later that day, I attended the first meeting for the volunteer committee of a local charitable giving program. It’s a new program, one that my friend FoN actually coordinates. She thinks she bullied me into attending by telling me that volunteering gets me into heaven, but I’m honestly pretty excited about the program and about being part of the committee.
Now I’m wondering about charity. (Shut up, it’s kind of a new concept to me.) Is it actually charitable if you’re giving something you wouldn’t miss? I mean, does there need to be some sacrifice involved? I won’t miss that food – as mentioned, I had a bit of a surplus – but I still felt pretty good about giving it away. The committee meeting, on the other hand, I was donating my time, something that IS often in short supply, and yet it felt effortless. It was pretty fun, actually.
What do you think? Do you need to feel a pinch to consider it “charity”? Or can you just volunteer or help some people out when it’s convenient or fun and still get into heaven*?
*Disclaimer: I don’t actually believe in heaven. So it’s kind of a stupid question, coming from me. You get the gist, though.