Give To Give - $1,000 GIVEAWAY!

NOTE: At the end of this post, I'll tell you the rules for my holiday giveawayThe winner will receive a $500 Steiner Sports gift card and a $500 donation to the charity of his/her choice!

One day when I was around ten years old, and we had just gotten our monthly welfare check, my mom told me she was going to take me to Woolworth’s for a banana split, and after that to the discount Brooklyn department store May’s, to buy some clothes.

Going to Woolworth’s for a banana split was always super-exciting, because Woolworth’s cafeteria had these balloons floating above the counter; when you ordered a banana split, the cashier would pop one – inside was a card that said how much you’d have to pay for the banana split, ranging from one cent to 59 cents. It was the closest a little kid like me came to playing the slots in Vegas!

Anyway, I had my banana split (forgot how much we paid for it) and we walked over to May’s. Standing outside of the store was a homeless man holding out a hat.

As we approached him, I watched breathlessly as my mom dropped one of our precious welfare dollars into the man’s hat.

As I walked by him, I reached into the hat and took the dollar out.

“Put that back!” my mom said.

“But we need this,” I said.

“He needs it, too,” my mom said. “When someone asks for help, it’s not for us to judge. That’s for someone else. We should help as many people as we can, as often as we can.”

I didn’t fully understand it at the time – we really did need that money! But I get it now. My mom understood something very deep.

Giving is like having fun, in that it’s an inelastic part of living well and feeling good about yourself.

You can’t wait until you have “enough” money (or other things) to start giving to others.

In fact, when you're feeling strapped might be the most important time to remember why giving is good for you.

Because it’s true what they say: Tis better to give than to receive.

Aside from often being “the right thing to do,” giving makes us feel good about ourselves, which helps us become our best selves.

Giving is like eating and sleeping. It’s not something we should do when we can. It’s something we must do.

Think about everything you receive from others in one day. That might give you an idea of how necessary giving is in one form or another.

Now think about what you can give back. Granted, it might not be “much,” but you have something you can give.

Whether it’s your time, or your ear, or food, or money, or whatever, give something to somebody in need when you’re done reading this post.

Then tomorrow, and the next day, and the next...

Make giving a consistent part of your life. "Budget" it in there.

Or, as the Red Hot Chili Peppers sing: Give it away now!

My mom would promise: you’ll be glad you did.

Speaking of giving...

Who wants to win $1,000? I am giving away TWO $500 prizes to ONE lucky winner: one $500 Steiner Sports gift card, and one $500 check for the charity of his/her choice.

Enter to win by completing the following:

1 - COMMENT below the last time you did something special for someone else and tell me why you did it!

2 - SUBSCRIBE to this blog:

Gain a BONUS entry by mentioning the charity you would have me donate to and WHY!

I will pick a winner on Friday, 12/14 at noon! Good luck everyone.


  • Brandon,

    What a lesson in humility at a young age. I recently had an employee come down with a serious illness. Over the past year it has become more aggressive and it seems to be progressing faster than expected. I always told him I would visit with him while he went for his treatment , which usually takes a full day. Last Thursday, I finally did, and only wished I had done it sooner. The gratitude he and his family showed me taught me so much about humility and myself. It’s not always about donating money, or food. Sometimes it’s just about donating your time to listen to others, or share a laugh, and make a memory. As I left that day, I couldn’t help but feel motivated to do more for my employees, friends and family. I also ensured my family got an extra hug that night.

    I have so many charities to be thankful for. And appreciate their dedication to help others in need. As I would love to dedicate any funding to Colon Cancer research, I feel that I would dedicate to a new organization that is trying to get on their feet. The Customs United Service Alliance (CUSA) has just been approved and developed this December to promote general morale, welfare and recreational activities for its members and their families. It’s promotes social activity and resiliency through common interest and purpose. It is always worth supporting charities and others, but to be able to assist a newer non profit a chance to start helping is a special honor.

    Have a wonderful holiday season.

    Keith W. on

  • My dear friend has ovarian cancer, and every year we form a team to walk and raise funds for Support Connection’s annual October fundraising walk, in honor of her. This year we moved to NC and couldn’t attend their walk, but we continued to raised funds in her honor, and the day of the walk, put on our team t-shirts and walked in Charlotte.

    I would donate the funds to Support Connection of Yorktown Heights, NY. They do amazing work supporting women with breast and ovarian cancer.

    Wendy Giuiano on

  • Good morning, Brandon. Your blog teaches me a bit more about generosity and being grateful each day. I look forward to reading your book.

    Each year my wife and I have a Christmas Eve tradition which my kids love. We go to 4 pm Mass and then view a wonderful local light display.

    My kids really enjoy Wendy’s, so the seven of us play Christmas carols on the way to our local Wendy’s. They close at 6 pm, and we get there about 5:45. We put in an order for our family, and then we pay the bill for the car behind us. Folks from behind us have run up to our car to thank us, but we are the lucky ones for being able to do this, and we love teaching our kids about paying it forward. It warms our hearts.

    Then we go home, enjoy dinner, and all watch It’s A Wonderful Life together. I can’t ask for more.

    Our area United Way does exceptional work, and I would direct our winnings to our area Meals on Wheels which is always in need of additional funding. They do amazing things for the elderly of our area. Thank you, Brandon, for all you do for us!

    Chris Markle on

  • I was at the Chillicothe,Ohio VA Hospital a week before Thanksgiving of this year and on the grounds they have assisted living apartments for disabled Vets. While I was there sitting in the waiting room 2 older gentleman had been discussing putting a meal together for them to share they didn’t have anyone coming to see them or no family and was discussing how much money they had together and how many people could come over. I myself had my own problems this year with flooding but I’m blessed with a family that cares and also had been given a $700 gift card from Kroger to buy Thanksgiving for my family which was way more than enough for 4 Thanksgiving’s as the only family I have is my mom aunt and a couple cousins. I drove to the nearest Kroger ,and bought them $250 worth of food so they could have a meal not only for themselves but to invite others on the grounds who were alone. I believe in Karma and paying it forward if I can I feel it was more the Kroger company that was able to make there holiday as happy as could be rather than myself. As for a charity to donate $500 every little bit could help a charity $100 to Meals on wheels,$100 to Big Brother Big Sister, $200 to wounded warrior,and $100 Free store Food Bank.

    Travis Baker on

  • Hi Brandon big fan of your blog
    Monday morning was the last time I helped out someone. I gave a homeless man a care package. My wife and I make care packages for the homeless. A couple of years ago my wife Paula (true saint) came up with the idea. She make these little bags that contain, toothbrush, toothpaste , sope, shampo, deodorant, Dunkin Donuts Card and some snacks. We both keep a few in our cars and when we see a homeless person we give them one. I can’t tell you how much they truly like that. There able to go to one of the shelters and get a shower as well as something to eat at Dunkins.

    Michael Melito on

Leave a comment