if you could spend $100 on anything you want..

growing up, 
my parents never failed to demonstrate the power of giving 
to my siblings and i. 
especially around christmas time. 
i remember one particular incident when i was very young.
i believe my sister rachel & i were arguing or something. 
my dad leans in the back seat and hands us each $100. 
we look at each other & start smiling from ear to ear.
my dad said, 
"you can spend this on anything you want."
of course, my eight year old mind immediately thought of 
all the wonderful gifts i could go buy myself. 
i was in heaven. $100 was a lot of money.
we pull up to a scroungy house in the scary areas of salt lake city.
me, acting like i was too good for this house, exclaimed, 
"ummm..what are we doing HERE?" 
i wanted to go shopping and spend my $100. 
why did we stop at some smelly house with an unkempt yard?
we walk inside, and i can instantly smell the stench coming from the kitchen.
we walk into the door & there is nothing.
no furniture, no dishes, nothing. 
all i remember is a mother & her daughter.
we walk into their room. 
i don't remember exactly how it was, 
but i think it was a twin mattress she was sharing with her kid.
my parents had bought her a bed & came to set it up for her. 
tears streamed down her face in gratitude. 
then my dad whispers to me, 
"if you want, you can give that $100 to her.
don't you think she needs it more than you?"
i handed her the $100, willingly, and completely happy about it. 
i wasn't sad to see that $100 go. 
it was the service i had participated in that had humbled my heart.
i was around eight. and that was the year everything changed.
that was the year christmas meant something different to me. 
that was the exact moment i knew i wanted to serve others. 
constantly. without fail.
there are countless stories i could tell about my amazing parents.
they give more than they take. 
and they don't even focus on their wants. just others.

volunteering is in my blood. and i volunteer at least once a week through sandy city.
i'll be honest--i have come across some very sketchy, tough & sticky situations.
but without these situations, i wouldn't be a bit stronger.
you never know what to say when people open up to you & tell you
that their parents hit them, that they don't ever want to wake up the next morning & face the tragic events that take place every single day in their lives. it is so sad & tugs at my heart strings.
i wouldn't trade this life for anything. 
not $12,000,000 (after taxes).
not even a promise to have no trials. 
because then, what kind of strength would i posses?
go volunteer, people! get out there & help the helpless.
 your problems will suddenly & instantly feel small.
& mostly, you will feel a deeper appreciation than the one(s) you are serving.
make a difference.



  1. Your parents sound like really amazing people, and you are definitely following their footsteps. Your blog is always an inspiration, and it really makes a difference in my life. My husband and I love reading your posts. They are always about the right things. :) I love this! I want to strive to be like you :)

  2. thats so cool. i hope i can be like your parents and instill the desire to serve into my children! props to them, and you :)

  3. that story is so amazing. what a valuable lesson to learn. i love that storry so so much. your parents are amazing.


  4. What an inspiration--thank you so much for sharing. This just boosted my day right up!

  5. Thanks for sharing! Such a good word.

  6. Thanks for posting this, so sweet and lovely message!!

    Your dad is a good man for doing that when you guys were young!

  7. What a great message for your Dad to teach you!

    Love your new blog look by the way!

  8. I love this. It is so incredibly true that giving brings true joy. The act of helping someone just because you want to is so fulfilling. To help another human being is a beautiful thing.

    Good job for your dad, btw! That's incredible.

  9. You're pretty much the coolest, ever. So inspiring! Where do you volunteer up in Sandy?

  10. This is such a sweet post! What a wonderful lesson your dad taught you at such an early age!


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