Happy Elevated Friday! Today we highlight a story of the kind of giving that only happens when someone has their priorities straight in life. Former Iowa State University student Carson King attend a recent football game at his alma mater where the nationally watched ESPN show “College Gameday” was being shot. It is very common for students to hold hand-written signs up behind the show hosts, but Carson’s attracted specific attention. His sign unapologetically (and somewhat jokingly) read, “Busch Light Supply Needs Replenishing” and posted details for his Venmo account (a direct debit money sending app). Because of the national audience, he saw his Venmo account start to rise. Once it got over $1000 – way more than he anticipated or needed for a case of beer – he realized he could not keep this money. Because Iowa State’s football stadium is next to a children’s hospital, and it is a tradition during games for attendees to wave to the kids in it, Carson decided to donate the money to the children’s hospital. The money kept rolling in and to date, he has raised over $29,000. Busch Light, Venmo, and many local businesses are promising to match whatever he raises through the end of this month. Though Carson, as a 24-year-old with a mortgage, student loans, and other debts, could have very much used this money, he chose to give it away. This incredible story, both inspiring and humorous, shows what having a strong moral foundation and giving heart truly look like.
Some of us in life will be blessed with a big win – a lottery ticket, a big contract at work, or some other windfall that we did not expect. God works in strange and incredible ways. For most of us, our base instinct would be to keep that money, save it, invest it, or pay down our debts to free ourselves from financial burdens. However, our own intentions with money often blind us from God’s intentions when he blessed us with it. Carson knew he could have used that money to pay down his debts, but he chose to give it to children suffering from illness so they could pay down their debts. The Bible says, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Today, consider what you would do if you were in Carson’s shoes and pray for God to give you guidance on how you can best follow His intentions with your money.
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8