Young People Ask . . .
How Can I Help Those in Need?
“I’m hoping that when I leave school, I can get a job as an electrician. I want to help build Kingdom Halls.”—Tristan, 14.
“I am donating 20 dollars for the new printing press. It’s my allowance money, but I want to give it to you.”—Abby, 9.
IN AN era when some are quick to label youths as self-centered, many young ones—including those quoted above—are proving to be just the opposite. Among Jehovah’s Witnesses, many young men and women use their time, energy, and resources to serve others. (Psalm 110:3) Consider some further examples.
Shortly after his grandmother died, seven-year-old Jirah in Australia received a gift of $50 from his grandfather. What did Jirah do with the money? At the next congregation meeting, he put the entire amount into the donation box. Why? “I have enough toys, but I had only one grandma,” Jirah explained to his mother. “I know that Grandma would have wanted me to donate this money, because she loved Jehovah very much.”
Five-year-old Hannah from the United States loves horses. She wanted to buy a toy horse, which cost $75. In an effort to teach her the value of saving, Hannah’s parents occasionally gave her money to put into a piggy bank. Soon Hannah had more than enough money to purchase the horse.
About that time, however, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. Hannah was concerned about the victims, so she decided to donate her entire savings—more than $100—to help them. Hannah wrote to the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses: “I want to give this money to you because I love Jehovah and I want to help.” Does Jehovah see such acts of generosity? The Bible says: “Do not forget the doing of good and the sharing of things with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”—Hebrews 13:16.
A young girl named Tiffany, also from the United States, contacted the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses after two hurricanes hit Florida in 2004. “My brother Timothy and I would like to donate $110,” she wrote. “Our house did not receive too much damage, but we saw what the storms did to other houses. We wanted to help, so we started to save our money. Timothy got $10 for helping to rip out drywall from a house, and I was able to save $100.” Tiffany is 13 years of age, and her brother Timothy is just 7! What happens when we put others’ interests ahead of our own? Proverbs 11:25 states: “The one freely watering others will himself also be freely watered.”
A group of Witness youths in the United States, ranging in age from 4 to 15, heard that their fellow believers in Africa needed Kingdom Halls. So they decided to take action. “We sold cookies and muffins at a yard sale, and we earned $106.54. We told people that the money may be used for meeting places in Africa where people could learn about the Bible. Many responded. It took us nine hours, but it was worth the effort—it was for Jehovah!”
You Can Help
The youths whose experiences appear above have learned the truth of Jesus’ statement: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” (Acts 20:35) You too can discover the joy of giving. In what ways?
Have you heard reports of fellow believers in need? For example, has there been a natural disaster? Try to imagine what it would be like to lose your home, your possessions, or even a loved one in death. The apostle Paul wrote that Christians should be “keeping an eye, not in personal interest upon just [their] own matters, but also in personal interest upon those of the others.” (Philippians 2:4) Even if you live far away from where a natural disaster has occurred, perhaps you can make a donation that would help in the relief effort carried out by Jehovah’s Witnesses.*
There are other ways you can assist those in need. For instance, if you are one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, why not look around your Kingdom Hall? Are there any elderly ones or others who could use a helping hand? Can you help them with chores? The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans: “In brotherly love have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another take the lead.” (Romans 12:10) When you see there is a need, then, take the initiative. Be willing to perform even menial tasks. And remember that serving others is closely linked to serving God. The Bible says: “He that is showing favor to the lowly one is lending to Jehovah, and his treatment He will repay to him.”—Proverbs 19:17.
Of course, the greatest way you can help others is by sharing what you know about God’s Word, the Bible, with them. Jesus said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Now more than ever, people need to hear the lifesaving message of truth from the Bible. So continue to have a regular and zealous share in the preaching work, confident that “your labor is not in vain.”—1 Corinthians 15:58.
More articles from the “Young People Ask . . .” series can be found at the Web site www.watchtower.org/ype
Donations for a specific relief effort are gratefully accepted. However, it is preferred that such donations be made to the worldwide work of Jehovah’s Witnesses, since monies are drawn from this fund as the need arises.
TO THINK ABOUT
◼ Can you think of someone who could use a helping hand?
◼ What can you do to help?
[Blurb on page 25]
“Do not forget the doing of good and the sharing of things with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”—Hebrews 13:16
[Box/Pictures on page 24, 25]
WHY LEARN TO GIVE?
“Watching my parents use their time and energy to serve Jehovah and their neighbors made me want to live my life the same way. My father told me: ‘No matter how small it may be, whatever you do for Jehovah lasts forever. Jehovah lives forever, and he will remember it forever. But living just for yourself is in vain. When you die, what you did dies with you.’”—Kentaro, 24, Japan.
“To be honest, the last thing I wanted to do was help elderly people with chores around the house on a Saturday afternoon. I just wanted to have fun, to be with my peers. When I did spend time with elderly ones, though, I actually enjoyed it. Then I got to know them as people who are like me, who also had been young at one time. This motivated me to help them.”—John, 27, England.
“When I was younger, I shared in Kingdom Hall cleaning and many other activities. I also enjoyed doing physical work for others in the congregation. When you help someone, you see the joy it brings them. For example, I once went with some others to put up wallpaper in an elderly sister’s apartment. How happy she was! When you make someone happy, you become happy too.”—Hermann, 23, France.
[Picture on page 24]
Many young people donate money to help victims of disaster