Not your typical charity

When we were talking about giving back to the local Tri-Cities community, I have to admit that a hibachi-style meal through Hibachi Catering Tri-Cities wasn’t the first thing on my mind. And if you’ve ever seen a talented chef like Ivan, you’d realize that the entertainment value is half of the reason to order hibachi.

In the past, our charitable contributions usually have gone to one or two of about five different charities: the Boys and Girls Club of Benton and Franklin Counties, Second Harvest, the Union Gospel Mission, and Benton-Franklin Legal Aid or Soul Soup Tri-Cities.

However, 2020 has helped changed our view a bit of what it means to give.

The meaning of charity

So, charity literally means to care, to like, to hold dear. To care about someone. To do what you can to help someone else flourish.

How do you help someone flourish? How do you show someone that you care? Well, it’s pretty easy to give money to a cause you believe in. And, if you have enough money, I suppose it’s easy to give money to the cause that is the most popular: the Red Cross, United Way, March of Dimes, Jerry’s Kids, or any other national organization with a big advertising budget.

But it’s a little harder to give to someone in your local community, because then you have to ask some hard questions. Am I really helping? Is this the best way to give? Are there others who might need my help more?

Giving in small ways

Over the years, we’ve realized at Anderson Law that small gifts given regularly are better than big gifts given occasionally. Some would say that we should give as little as possible but that we should do it every day.

Much like soaking a plant once that needs to be watered daily, giving en masse may have two unintended consequences: first, the money or the gift in kind is more likely to be wasted or used inefficiently; second, you’re less likely to be aware of actual need when the giving is like a door that is open and then shut. When you give in small ways on a regular basis, you are creating relationships that allow you to give in the best ways.

A win-win

When you can, it’s great to give in such a way that it is a win for you and a win for the person or organization that you are supporting. With hibachi, that’s easy to see. We loved the delicious lunch and our chef was happy to be able to serve us and earn some money. I mean, look at our big smiles!

hibachi lunch

Habitat for Humanity does something similar with the people they help. They provide the raw materials and some of the labor, but the people that are going to live in the house put in a lot of work! Because, at the end of the day, people want to work and want to feel valued as much as they need basic physical necessities. The need to belong in society is a very deep psychological need.

Publicity, the gift that keeps on giving

There’s an old proverb that says “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” We had a good lunch and we supported our chef Ivan and Hibachi Catering Tri-Cities for a day, but what we would really like to do is support him for more than a day. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try teppanyaki or hibachi Japanese food, give Ivan a call.


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