Empathy is the social worker's calling card - we start where the client is, seeing communities, families, situations and challenges through the eyes of our clients. We have the privilege of stepping right into people's lives and walking alongside them as they pursue their goals and dreams.
We know that those of you who want to give charitably are often seeking the same - a personal connection, the opportunity to know who they're helping and how it went. The chance to step into someone’s story and walk with them.
So often, the act of charitable giving is an impersonal one - an act in which we can express our hope for change, for impact, but not connect with another person directly. Last winter, Benevolent started to change that for all of us by making it possible for a donor to give to help one person over a one-time hurdle. I created Benevolent in large part to open up the possibilities for interaction between people facing a challenge and people who want to help.
On the Benevolent site, we're each invited to find something in one person’s story that speaks to us, something we can relate to. We’re invited to put empathy into action, step in and help. Benevolent turns the impersonal giving experience on its head, making empathetic, connected giving available to all of us.
I hope you’ll come on in… Read the story of a young mom who is asking for help to get beds for her boys who have been sleeping on pallets on the floor. Step in and get to know a father who left home to find work so that he could send for his son; help him pay for the safety equipment he'll need to work as a welder after he's finished his training.
Then something cool happens: you hear back. The person you helped will let you know what it meant to her to know you were out there believing in her. The nonprofit that supports the person you helped will let you know how your help made a difference in this one person’s life and progress. Your empathy isn’t being poured into a silent chamber, it’s reflected back to you as you hear why your help mattered. You might hear back things like this:
“I will never forget what you have done for me and the rest of the people. Once again thank you so much.” – Al
“I think this was the greatest blessing I’ve received in years!” – Emily
“I send thanks to all the people who helped me get these services and I salute them.” – Luis
Here at Benevolent we believe that empathy and connection are a two-way street. We believe that when we step in and provide something for someone else, that we’re receiving just as much value as we’re giving.
In the fast-paced hyper-connected lives we live today, some older ways of expressing and living out our empathy are less realistic. At Benevolent, we like to say that the way we give is transforming. We’re building new bridges and opening up new doors to give us all the chance to put our empathy into action.