Inspiring Generosity

Living generously helps others while benefiting your own mental and spiritual health. Anchorpoint’s “Inspiring Generosity” series tells stories of people like you. May these examples inspire you to live generously!

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with measure you use; it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)

“To whom much is given, much will be required,” Gary Claus recounts. This verse from Scripture (Luke 12:48) is a driving force behind Gary’s desires to give back.

Gary remembers his upbringing from humble beginnings. Growing up in a small, working class town, his basic needs were met. But his family didn’t have much more. In early childhood, he roamed the neighborhood playing with friends. He sometimes crossed paths with a factory worker named John. While on break from his job, John routinely offered Gary half of his donut.

“This is my first memory of generosity,” Gary recalls. Then he reflects on the New Testament lesson of the widow who gave from what little she had (Mark 12:41-44). “John gave what might have been half of his lunch to me, a five- or six-year-old child.”

Gary later experienced how it felt to switch roles, from the recipient to the giver. As a young accountant, he realized he was earning a higher income that his parents. A couple mentors encouraged him to use his resources for others. It wasn’t just his money that mattered, they insisted. His time and talents could be put to good use as well.

Claus-Nagascola, Nicaragua 2023

So, Gary gave financial gifts to causes that were important to him. He also joined a number of nonprofit Boards, accumulating more than 200 total years of service. He led a fraternal organization of retired employees from his accounting firm. And he became a Sunday School teacher at his church.

“I get a sense of gratification from giving,” he shares. “It’s the understanding that it’s the right thing to do.” As an accountant, Gary’s acts of generosity fulfill his needs for completion and closure. Each time he sends in a check or completes a charitable task, he crosses it off his to-do list.

Generosity also meets his needs for belonging and togetherness. His involvement in different causes gives him opportunities to make valuable connections. And he’s learned new professional skills along the way.

Gary looks back on some of the most meaningful gifts he’s ever received: an honorary degree from his alma mater, a standing ovation from colleagues, and the most precious gift of Christ from his wife, Jo Ann. “I’ve been richly blessed,” he reflects. Because of these blessings, he says, “I’m rich beyond all measure.”