By Kathleen Hutchinson
10 Dec

The Spirit of Giving

Thursday, December 10, 2015

I’d like to think of myself as a charitable giver. I donate to a handful of charities each year, including ACHA, which is now at the top of my list and will remain there for years to come. Of the organizations I donate to, some are the same year-after-year, and some I swap out—to spread the wealth, if you will.

We may be in constant worry of paying our bills and living expenses to think of someone else. Please consider, for a moment, the science on giving. Research shows that when you give—and give without expectation is the key—a genuine feeling of helping someone else in need, by “law,” you will be repaid tenfold. It may not come back to you in the same manner, but if you look around and pay attention, a friend may buy you lunch, or the car in front of you in the drive-thru will pay for your Starbucks coffee, etc. You will get it back.

Experiment each month before you pay your bills by giving to an organization that makes your heart sing. Give whatever it is you can comfortably let go of—$10, $25, $50. Every organization I have ever donated to is grateful for anything, as anything and everything helps. Then keep your eyes open on how it comes back.

I didn’t know about ACHA until the fall of last year. I was finally being treated by an ACHD provider and in his office was an ACHA poster. I had already signed up to become a member when my doctor’s nurse mentioned ACHA. My healthcare team has nothing but the highest regard for ACHA.

My story is much like many of ours. I wasn’t receiving the proper care from an ACHD specialist until it was almost too late. It’s safe to say that if we weren’t/aren’t receiving the proper treatment, we don’t know about ACHA.

It didn’t take me long to recognize the importance of ACHA. The plethora of information and resources in the form of brochures, webinars, this blog, the Heart to Heart Ambassadors, directory listings, up-to-date legislative information and the work that goes into making sure our voices are heard and that we receive the proper care today and in the future, is priceless. With all of that, there is still much more work to be done to raise awareness and educate those with CHD that proper treatment is necessary to live longer, healthier lives.

It would be easy to look at my life and “complain”—I was laid off from my job last year, am on unemployment, I live with family, not a home I can call my own… the list can go on. But I choose not to complain. I have much more than millions on this planet, more than millions in our very own country. I have my health (which is better now than any other point of my life), I pay my bills, I have a roof over my head, a comfortable, warm bed to sleep in, food on the table, love of family and friends… the list can go on. That’s why I give. I give because there are people out there that have much less than I do, regardless of my circumstances.

How do you feel when you give, when you sincerely help someone in need? Speaking for myself, I feel good. Uplifted. So why not do more of what makes us feel good?

I know each and every one of us has immense gratitude for all the work that ACHA does for us each year. Please consider them when making your end-of-year contributions.

Many blessings to you and yours in 2016.

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