It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. Mother Theresa

This year Healy Group continues our annual tradition of the Healy $100. This tradition started back in 2013 and continues today! Each employee receives a $100 cash gift to help others with no strings attached.

I am grateful to once again share heartwarming stories from colleagues about their giving experience with the Healy $100 in 2019. These stories are representative of Healy Group’s values and remind us how to give unto others as Christ has given to us.

“It’s the Christmas present each year that I truly value,” remarked one Healy Group employee. “I love the feeling I get.”

The Healy Spirit

Inspiration for The Healy $100 came from a client who shared that he gave his employees $100 to support causes of their choice. When I shared with other owners that I was thinking about doing something similar at Healy Group, they all supported the idea. This allows the Healy Spirit to move beyond our office into our local and global communities. It warms my heart to hear these stories and the love that our employees put into choosing how to share their money. They embody the true spirit of Christmas.

Here are a few of their stories:

“This year, I gave my Healy $100 to a friend, who is a veteran. He’s been dealing with some health problems. He not only fought for our country in Vietnam, but he is also very kind soul and goes out of his way to help others. He lives on a limited income. Although he does get VA assistance, it doesn’t go as far anymore. So this Christmas season, I decided to help him and make his Christmas a little brighter.”

Another colleague used her Healy $100 to help several people. “While I was in line at Goodwill a gentleman tried to purchase some needed supplies for himself. However his card would not work, and he had no cash. He asked the cashier if she would hold his items until the next day. I just felt this man really needed help, so I told the cashier to add it to my purchases. I also purchased three gifts for Toys for Tots, which I would not have normally been able to do. In addition, I bought three blankets to donate to the YMCA Women’s Shelter. I am very grateful to Healy Group for this opportunity to share.”

One of our employees chose to help a friend who has not been able to work because of health problems. “I gave my Healy $100 to a family friend who has had serious health issues in recent months and has been unable to work. It felt good to be able to help in some way.”

Another employee waited for an opportunity to present itself. “The first year I received the Healy $100, I carefully folded the $100 bill and placed it in my wallet until the timing felt right. While eating lunch at a local restaurant several times over the previous six months, I observed a woman in her 60s or early 70s who was there routinely cleaning the tables. She always greeted me cheerfully with a smile, and sometimes she would comment, ‘It’s good to see you again.’

On another occasion before Christmas, I went to the same restaurant and the same woman was there cleaning tables cheerfully. As I ate my meal, I felt prompted by the spirit of the Healy $100. Upon leaving the restaurant, I approached her and explained that my employer had graciously given me a gift to share with others. I took the folded $100 bill from my shirt pocket and gave it to her.  As I handed her the money, tears filled her eyes as she grabbed me and gave me a kiss on the cheek! She thanked me repeatedly. I don’t know what her financial situation was, but gathering from her reaction, it seemed to be an answer to prayers!

I called my wife immediately from the parking lot and told her that this experience was easily the “coolest giving experience that I had ever had!”

….And Beyond

Healy Group employees have directed their Healy $100 toward causes that touch lives outside of our local community, too.

An employee who works remotely, shared a heartwarming story. “The first year we moved to the Quad Cities, it was just the four of us for Thanksgiving. It felt weird to spend the day cooking a turkey and the fixin’s only to have two six-year-olds consume the meal in about 30 seconds. Since then, every year we are in the Quad Cities for Thanksgiving, we have hosted an ‘Orphan Thanksgiving’ for anyone who does not have family near. We have had as few as 12 to as many as 44 people. This year there were 33 guests, ranging from refugee families, to new faculty, international students, and friends who come every year and now feel like family. The Healy $100 offsets some of the cost of the meal, for which we are so grateful. We are always well-fed and enjoy spending time sharing gratitude.”

Another colleague helped a refugee family from Guatemala. “My daughter lived at the Catholic Worker House in Chicago last year. A mother and her four-year-old son and two-year-old daughter came to live at the Catholic worker house.  She came from a very abusive relationship and had to flee Guatemala for her safety. The abusive father of her children was in a gang and was very violent towards her and would not allow her to leave. She had no money, no food, no clothes, nothing to her name.  She crossed the border looking for a better, safer life.

She was eventually able to move out of the Catholic Worker House and now lives on her own with her children. She is having trouble finding work as she is not a citizen yet. She’s going through the citizenship process, but it is a lengthy proceeding. She does odd jobs, cleaning etc., but struggles to make ends meet, and she doesn’t speak English. Every year our extended family chooses a family to support during Christmas, and we purchase clothes, necessities, Christmas decorations and gifts for them. This year, we chose to support this family. I plan to surprise the family with the $100 along with the other gifts we bought for them. They are a wonderful family, and they continue to have challenges. We’re hoping to bring some light into their life.”

The Power of Giving

After listening to the stories of my colleagues, I was struck by the joy they received from giving. “The Healy $100 creates wonderful little sparks of light from giving,” shared a colleague. “It gives us an opportunity to think about how can we make someone else’s world better.”

It reaffirms, contrary to popular beliefs, amassing wealth and possessions does not lead to greater sense of well-being, but generosity does. In an article by Psychology Today, it outlines that the sense of well-being that giving can bring is more than just feeling good about ourselves – “it comes from a powerful sense of connection to others, an empathetic and compassionate transcendence of separateness, and of our own self-centeredness.”

Or in my own words, just as God was lavishly generous with us when he sent his only son into a broken world to restore it, any generous act of ours is participating in that same generosity.These are opportunities for others to see Christ shine in the modern world.

This holiday season, Healy Group wishes you and your families a Christmas filled with many blessings.

About the Author:

Healy Group President

F. Richard (Rich) Preuss, Jr.

Rich, the President and an Owner of Healy Group, has been a financial advisor for over 36 years. His overarching goal in his work with his clients is to help them connect their money to their values. He believes that his work with his clients isn’t just about rates of return, asset allocation, and maximizing wealth; it is about helping them create a better life for those they love and creating a better world.