Editor's Note: Jessica Ann founded The Candied Yam, a Grand Rapids restaurant serving Southern cuisine, in 2016. She is also the owner of JA PR Group in Grand Rapids. As a philanthropist, over the past 12 years, she has been able to award over $115,000 in scholarships to high school and college students. She has been in West Michigan for about 25 years. Born in Lansing, Jessica Ann lived in a foster home until she was 7. She found her forever family at 8 in Kalamazoo. She is married with a daughter who just graduated high school and an adult son. She lives in Kentwood.
I have been accused of being way too generous, by people who know me dearly and a tax accountant.
They do have a point.
Actually, I would do even more if I had more.
Besides, it’s only money and you can’t take it with you, but it sure is fun using it while you can. I love the reaction that I see when someone is receiving something they truly wanted. Or, when I know that someone is in need of some thing essential and it feels really good to make that happen for them.
Or better yet, when you do something for someone and they don’t know that it’s you but you know that you.
It makes a special impact so that they could have faith to get even stronger and run the course that they’re on.
I’m getting chills and goosebumps just writing this.
However, I can be quite selfish.
There are certain things that I want just for myself and myself alone: Quiet time while I’m getting a massage. I like to chat but there is nothing like trying to relax and the masseuse is asking you like literally 20 questions. I don’t even want to think in those moments.
I like MY make up that my teenager keeps breaking into my bathroom to take or as she says borrow - but it never seems to find its way home. Not only make up, but deodorant, jewelry ... ok just everything! I love my lil princess Caitlyn. She is my heart. But some days she has to feel my wrath because expensive things just get ‘borrowed’ and not returned.
OK my goosebumps are now gone and I am feeling a little salty.
I keep telling my husband that I am going to get a lock on the bathroom door. That’s the freaking bathroom door! I even took her to the mall and purchased make up for her so that she could have her own. It didn’t work.
Oh and my ‘piggy bank’. I even had to take my piggy bank out of my bedroom. I took it to my office because my husband will dig in and get the change for car washes .... and my daughter, I’m sure she had something to do with ‘missing change’ in it as well.
Back to the blog context.
Giving. One of my favorite actions. I am smiling again.
So as you know, I like doing research. And I found out that there are actually seven different types of givers. Yes - seven! I know you probably thought, like, there is only one type of giver and that’s a cheerful giver. Nope. Seven.
Authors Prince & File wrote a book called "The Seven Faces of Philanthropy."
They actually list out the seven personalities of philanthropists and their motivations for giving. It was very insightful.
Here is what they wrote:
Communitarians - Doing Good Makes Sense. Most logical thing to do and you don’t see what the big deal is.
The Devout - Doing Good is God’s Will. You believe that the Lord works in mysterious ways and those ways pass through you.
The Investor - Doing Good Is Good Business. You look for tax exemptions. You do good and make a wise investment decision at the same time.
The Socialite - Doing Good Is Fun. You attach a cause to an event.
The Altruist - Doing Good Feels Right. Altruists are driven by passion and do good because their gut tells them that it is the right thing to do.
The Repayer - Doing Good in Return. You are a firm believer in Karma and certain what goes around comes around.
The Dynast - Doing Good Is a Family Tradition. Giving is a family type of tradition that is followed without a second thought. The Dynasts may run trusts and charitable organizations. Some do not but are the torch bearers of the tradition of giving in family and are doing it in every small way that they can. I love when my restaurant, The Candied Yam, does well. That’s more I can give.
I happen to find myself falling between about three or four types of givers. I think it depends on the day or the situation which type of giver I am honestly. I know a lot of selfish people, unfortunately. I think it’s something that’s brought about either early in life or through an experience or situation.
Some people have had to struggle to get the things that they have so in that struggle they have never been able to give. I also know a lot of givers. My parents always taught me that if my fists are closed, I can never give, which means I can never receive. They also taught me that the majority of the time you may not get back something tangible. There are many miserable people, but you could never, EVER pay for joy or happiness.
Many seek. Few find.
By giving, I will always remain rich in many ways.