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Giving Tuesday: Is it really better to give than receive?

By: Thomas J. Protack, Vice President, Beebe Medical Foundation
November 21, 2018

When I was young, sometimes I expressed disappointment with the overall results of my birthday or Christmas presents. My parents would often say, “it is better to give than receive.” As I have grown older, I do agree it is better to give than receive, but I must admit I still enjoy receiving thoughtful gifts around the holidays or my birthday.

The saying “it is better to give than receive” has its roots in the Christian Scriptures and is often quoted by non-profit institutions in their fundraising mailings or requests for donations. I have been honored to serve almost all of my life in the non-profit sector and have been working with people who like to give to help others. Thankfully, our world and our local community is full of givers whom we call philanthropists. Every day I work with donors who want to make an investment in healthcare, often deemed one of our community’s greatest assets. Many donors want to make an impact on changing, improving or saving other’s lives through their giving. It is truly inspirational to help our donors make a proud, personal gift and see their gift in action!

Why do people give to Beebe? I get asked that question a lot and it reminds me of a lunch meeting I had with a retired gentlemen. He had several heart problems over the years and Beebe was always there for him and his family. During our conversation, I asked him if he would consider making an extra gift to support the new expansion plans of Beebe and the “I Believe in Beebe” campaign? He said, “of course I will!” and began to tell me that he gives to 3 important groups: his local volunteer fire department, his church, and Beebe Healthcare. He explained, “when my house is on fire, I want the volunteer fire department to have new trucks so they can get to me in a hurry, when my soul is on fire, I want my church to save me because I want to go to heaven and when my heart is on fire, I want Beebe to be able to fix it fast!”

Like many grateful patients, most donors give to Beebe because of the excellent care they received from our team members. One of my colleagues at the Foundation, Dave Szumski, always reminds our Beebe team members that they give the first gift: excellent care! And the rest is easy; from our grateful patients flow gifts in honor of team members for being there for them and their families in their time of need. We teach our team members to listen for the sounds of gratitude and when they hear gratitude, to recognize it, accept it and celebrate it! Grateful patients want to express their thanks, and this past year, we have received even more donations because our team members took the time to say you are welcome. And many team members have introduced a Foundation team member to a grateful patient who says, “what can I do to help you?”

So, is it really better to give than receive? Our giving grateful patients and their families would say both are better! They give because they received excellent care and Beebe team members are better because the gifts given in their honor help them serve our patients. So, the answer is both: yes, it is better to give and yes, it is better to receive! For Giving Tuesday on November 27th, a national day set aside to remind us to support the non-profit community, I invite you to consider giving a gift to Beebe in honor of the excellent care you have received or maybe just because if your heart is on fire, you want Beebe to be there to put it out!

Go to or call (302) 644-2900 and make your gift today!