Helping People Brings Happiness

I arrived in Denver today to deliver the hardware from the HP Magic Giveaway to Elaine Jordan. I will admit to shipping a majority of the hardware via FedEx, because I realized that it was highly impractical to haul everything on the plane. Frankly, I have more faith in FedEx than I do in the commercial airlines.

While the first half of the packages arrived by truck before I had even left Seattle this morning, I was still excited to get the chance to meet Elaine. I exchange emails with so many of you throughout the year, it’s nice to get a chance to meet the people behind the messages. I’m making it a personal goal (an early New Year’s resolution) to meet more of you in 2009.

While I’m sure many of you who entered the HP Magic Giveaway here have real needs that could have benefited from winning, I’m happy to learn Elaine, the person who did win, will both directly benefit from winning and be able to share the “Magic” with others close to her. Elaine has her own small business building Websites and is in need of some new computer equipment to help her business grow. She’s keeping some of the hardware for that purpose. That’s good for the Denver economy in the long run, which is indirectly good for many other economies throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world. Other hardware is going to relatives who either don’t have computers or are in desperate need of an upgrade to be functional. It’s refreshing to hear stories of people helping family in a country that’s largely known for thinking of the collective Me first.

That’s one theme too frequently lost in the frenzy of holiday shopping this time of year – the importance of helping others. We get caught up in making Christmas lists for each other, essentially telling people what to buy because there isn’t really anything we need. It’s certainly more fun to get a new Xbox game, or a collection of favorite movies on DVD, but often what we really need is someone to listen to our troubles, or help fix that leaky faucet because hiring a plumber over-extends the budget. No one will remember the stuff you did or didn’t give them when you’re gone, but they will remember that time you lent a helping hand. So with the holiday season in full swing as people send you lists of stuff they want, buy it for them if it’s in your budget, but see if you can challenge them (and yourself) to provide you with one or two things that would really make a difference in their lives.


  1. That was nice of you to personally deliver the prize Jake! I’m sure Elaine must of been really happy. I hope you had a good time in Denver.

  2. HI Jake, I see that the contest is over, but I wanted to ask if you know of any other resources or if anyone else knows of resources that can be donated to rural communities outside of the US? I live in a small community in the northern zone of Costa Rica, and the schools are in great need of computers and improved technologies. I am looking for foundations or indivuals who can help them. Any connections would be greatly appreciated.

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