The greatest thing you can give is your time to another.

Unfortunately I didn’t have loads of time this year to give. Between traveling for three months researching EATING, and speaking across the country, which had me away for more than 30 days, I was booked. When I did have free time, I spent it with Annie and the kids.

I simply didn’t have the time to give as much as I would’ve liked. Therefore I feel like I wasn’t the Big Brother (through Big Brothers & Big Sisters) nor the ally through Teamwork for Quality Living) that I should’ve been.

These are definitely two of my biggest regrets from 2012.


On a much more positive note, I found a vehicle in which to give my time much more efficiently: The Facing Project. I teamed up with service-learning guru, J.R. Jamison, to lay the groundwork for a project that is really taking off. The Facing Project brings together a community’s creative resources and not-for-profits to face important issues together around a common project. The pilot project took place in Muncie (Facing Poverty). Muncie’s Facing Poverty, with the support of Teamwork for Quality Living, brought together hundreds of Muncians to face poverty from all angles through stories and monologues.

Now we’re helping other communities:

Ft. Wayne’s Facing Homelessness
A group of three college’s in Rome, Georgia
Atlanta’s Facing Human Trafficking

There are several other communities who are on the path to face an issue through the Facing Project, but a little too early in the process to announce.

J.R. and I are doing another Facing Project in Muncie in 2013.

If you are interested in starting a Facing Project in your community, email me and like the project’s Facebook page.

Every community has a story. What’s yours?


Here’s another fail for 2012.

Our family goal is to donate a percent of our income each quarter to local and a global causes that are important to us as a family. Unfortunately we began 2012 paying 15 months of taxes; it was our first quarter to file quarterly. This coupled with traveling to eight countries from March to August of 2012 meant that we had a healthy load of expenses the first half of the year.

Don’t worry about us. We’re doing fine.

2012 marked our first year as a stay-at-home family, and the first we’ve totally relied off my writing and speaking income. Actually this was our highest-earning year since we’ve been married. But our income is so irregular and our future income is so hard to predict that we like to maintain a larger safety net than before. So between poor tax planning, the expense of researching EATING, and building up a larger safety net, we didn’t feel comfortable giving like we had hoped.

In order to give, you have to manage your money well. We’re learning to do that better.

Scheduling monthly giving through Network for Good was something that helped us give better in 2012.

With less travel, expenses, and our safety net in place, we should have much more time, passion, and funds to give in 2013.

How did you give in 2012?

Becki says:

Like you, my family has been faced with unexpected and sometimes unusual costs, so I wasn’t able to do as much as I’d like this past year. But when Sandy hit the east coast (and after my power came back on), I joined a group making quilts for those who were affected. This is the biggest project I’ve ever been involved in, and I’ve met some really great women who care a lot about others and have tons of talent.

Kelsey says:

Becki, that’s great that you get to share something so personal with those impacted by Sandy. Way to go!

Let your voice be heard!