Fingers curl with arthritis. Muscle mass disappears faster than a burger from a gobbling teenager’s hand. Minds become so full of what has happened there is no room left to remember what we were doing or why we even entered into the room in the first place.

My mother said, “Getting old is not for the faint of heart.”

There is drama, pain and heartache. No wonder people need starch for the heart.

One Executive Director said that she kept going in the difficult times by remembering the passion each of donor who had left a bequest to her organization.

“Imagine leaving THAT amount to a single cause,” she said. “Talking with donors about why they do what they do always gave me a boost in my work day.”

Passion, thoughtfulness, caring and understanding flowed from each conversation. People have a vision about what is needed, what they are prepared to do and are willing to share it – if they are asked.

More than once my writing was bolstered, my energy renewed and confidence was restored remembering donors’ gifts. Amazing generosity, astounding dedication amid politics of the day, and stories of sacrifice surrounds each person working for not-for-profits and with legacy donors. It is not hard to imagine why office staff are donors as well as facilitators of gifts.

Who would not be moved as each year the cheque arrives like clockwork and you notice that the handwriting of the note has become very shaky? It is truly heartfelt to pick up the phone and say thank-you.

It is not the same as strolling through fields of tulips in the spring or a walk in the park with an exuberant dog, but it does provide starch for the heart for all who give and receive.

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