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The Power of Ten ! – A lesson in appreciation.

 blog 5

Only Ten Rand????…….. It cost almost half that to mail it to us !!

I received a hand written envelop addressed to Grace Vision recently, with a postage stamp on it. It was from an elderly lady in the city of Durban, and contained a small note, in shaky handwriting, and a crumpled R10 note (about US$0.75). The note read ‘Sorry I can’t give more’.

While my immediate reaction was one of patronising condescension couched in a warm smile and a sincere, yet inappropriate ‘Awwwwwwwwww sweet’, it did not take long for the reality of what I had just received to sink in on various levels and overwhelm me with feelings of appreciation and humility.

1. I was immediately reminded of the biblical account of a widow bringing the equivalent of a quarter of 1 cent into the temple as an offering. Jesus commended her, telling those who scoffed, that this woman had ‘given’ more than everyone else, because she had given a greater percentage of what she had than everyone else. This R10-00 note told me an entire story about the donor’s heart and obedience to give. She will be blessed!

2. I was simultaneously overcome by a sense of frugality. This donation represented a sizable financial sacrifice for this lady in her obedience and prompting to give. However, she sent the money. She could have said to herself ‘What can R10-00 do?’ and not send it. Little did she know that her R10-00 prompted me to immediately think of what steps I can do within our organisation to save money. I got off my chair, walked over to the light switch, and turned it off. The light from the window was enough light for me to work in at that moment. I pledged to ALWAYS make sure all electrical appliances are turned off while I’m not in my office, and also pledged a war on waste throughout our mission organisation!

3. As the shame of my initial patronising reaction turned to excitement at what this R10-00 was doing in my life, I began to think of the many people out there who may be thinking that their R10-00 won’t make any difference in the world. The fact is that 100 people donating R10-00 restores sight to a blind person, 1,000 people donating R10-00 allows a school of 600 rural poor school children to have eyes tested, and 200,000 people donating R10-00 allows an entire poverty stricken rural community to have quality primary eye care, free spectacles and free cataract surgeries for an entire year!

I will be eternally grateful to this donor, for teaching me a valuable lesson in financial appreciation and generosity!

It Only takes R10-00!

Thank you so much!

John Rae – CEO Grace Vision