My grandfather taught me to give without asking.
He showed, by quiet example, to give without seeking glory.
My grandfather was a pious man, who didn’t explain why giving was so important to him. He never asked for a tax benefit for charitable giving, even when he sold his farm and became a wealthy man.
He just gave.
The world is cynical about such giving.
In a damaged world economy, hard-edged culture, and toxic American election campaign, even the most generous-hearted can be cynical.
Not the folks at no one hungry.
They posted yesterday about a gift so incredible, I wanted to share part of their story.
Barbara Jean Wind, director of no one hungry, was touring industrial space with the president of a successful new start-up.
She was seeking space to open a food bank, because the need in this harsh economy is so great.
Chef Keith Schroeder, president of High Road, was showing Barbara Jean some extra space that would be left over after his first expansion.
It’s indicative of the creativity of Schroeder and High Road workers that they’re undergoing an expansion only one year after opening a craft ice cream and sorbet business near Atlanta, Georgia.
It’s indicative of Schroeder’s spirit of generosity that he offered the space to no one hungry, without a heavy-handed pitch.
He didn’t talk about tax breaks; he didn’t ask for a tax receipt. He just gave.
She didn’t pitch all the benefits of charitable giving for tax purposes.
(This being tax season in the U.S., isn’t everyone scrambling to squeeze their way out of paying taxes? It certainly sounds that way, listening to campaign trail chatter.)
I could have written about the joy of discovering handcrafted ice treats with flavors like sweet corn pudding, watermelon, French toast, and blood orange-Campari.
Not having tasted the product yet, I can only imagine it’s great. In one year, High Road has created at least 55 flavors, expanding from store sales to chic Atlanta restaurants.
High Road delivers to “high-end” consumers, and still gives to children whose families are at the lowest income level.
High Road does this without seeking publicity. (Full disclosure: I don’t know Schroeder; haven’t met any High Road staff; and only read about his generosity on no one hungry‘s website. Barbara Jean Wind is my sister.)
I could say it’s the ice cream with habaneros that makes me want to get on a plane to visit High Road in Chamblee, Georgia.
I could say it’s their business model, the energy and enthusiasm of a young start-up.
No, it’s the giving.
What makes High Road so different from other businesses in this economic slump that they can give, like my grandfather, without seeking or expecting praise?
I’m going to Chamblee to find out … after I send a contribution to no one hungry.
And I’m unemployed, so there’s no tax break in it for me either.