Over the next several weeks, members of our Shawnee Community family will be sharing their generosity story. This week’s reflection is from Jamie Mast. Thank you for sharing with us.
I grew up in the small community of Belleville, KS, located in Republic County, in the North Central part of the state, about an hour north of Salina. This county is filled with incredibly hard-working people, a lot of farmers, and not always a lot of money. Even though resources can be scarce in small towns like Belleville, time and time again, I’ve seen the community come together to help a member in need. So when I think about what generosity means to me and why I give, I absolutely must mention the community who taught me.
When a member of the Republic County community is faced with an awful situation, people pitch in to give what they can through money, time, services, and food. From donating money for travel expenses to a family consumed with treatments for a sick child, to jumping in to help harvest another farmer’s field when illness strikes, I’ve seen examples of caring and generosity in Republic County over and over throughout my life.
I’m trying to live as I was taught by my first community, and so I give to help support the communities that I’m a part of now- to help sustain and grow them. There have been times when people have generously supported me, and I want to reciprocate that to show my gratitude and love for them. So I also give to show love, caring, and gratitude towards members of my communities- church, school, work, friend groups, etc.
Shawnee Community Christian Church has certainly become one of the most treasured communities in my life, and one I want to show my love, caring, and gratitude towards through time, talents, and resources.