Giving is Success

Katelyn - Bend, Oregon
Entered on March 20, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

As I lay in bed a one day I flipped on the radio and listened intently for some time. The station was hosting a telethon to raise money for St. Jude’s medical center. To my surprise, within minutes a person called to donate. One after another people called and the donations poured in. Suddenly I realized how much joy these people were feeling by donating to the children who had cancer and no insurance. These contributors had never met these children and most likely would never meet them. Nonetheless they still felt the need to help because they knew the children were in need. I believe we need to help others in order to feel successful in our own lives.

As I sat there a while longer I heard young survivors share a few stories about their journeys in fighting cancer. They expressed their gratitude towards everyone who had helped them fight their battle. Even though they didn’t know who had donated to them in order for them to receive the treatments they needed, they felt a connection to the strangers. These same children who are now all grown up were donating to the cause that had once saved their lives.

I thought about the contributor and wondered how they must have been feeling at that moment. I came to a conclusion that they must have felt successful. Knowing they had not only saved the life of a child but also extended the on-going chain of lending a helping hand. The life once affected by generosity is now affecting new lives.

I thought back to a time when I was six. My family had adopted another family in need for Christmas. We bought them simple necessities but I felt bad for the children who

wouldn’t receive a single toy at Christmas. So I decided to give them some of my old toys. I never realized until that day how good it felt to help another person. I did feel

successful just knowing that I had impacted someone else’s life and it only took a simple gesture.

The thrive for success in life keeps this helping chain forever growing. “This I believe.”