The Language of Giving

China Allocates More Financial Support For Farmers (Photo Credit)

Many years ago, I was taught the meaning of the beautiful Hebrew word, mitzvah. As I was taught, it means good deed. Further, when you give of yourself there is a double mitzvah - the giver initiates the good deed by giving, the receiver gives a good deed back by taking the gift with grace and gratitude.

As an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor, I have been blessed with many mitzvahs from my students. Helping them to learn English so that they can succeed in our world is my mitzvah to them. Their willingness to learn, enthusiasm for life and sincere gratitude for the opportunity to learn is their mitzvah to me.

Due to this, the teacher in me is always on the look out for new and innovative ways to help my students learn. Recently, a reader here sent me a wonderful site to peruse. FreeRice is a double mitzvah!

On the "About" page on the site you will read this: "FreeRice is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program. Our partner is the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

FreeRice has two goals:

1. Provide education to everyone for free.
2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

This is made possible by the generosity of the sponsors who advertise on this site.

Whether you are CEO of a large corporation or a street child in a poor country, improving your education can improve your life. It is a great investment in yourself.

Perhaps even greater is the investment your donated rice makes in hungry human beings, enabling them to function and be productive. Somewhere in the world, a person is eating rice that you helped provide. Thank you."

I intend on using this site to with my ESL students. I encourage my readers to use it also, for yourselves, for your students, for the world.



Liara Covert said…
To offer selflessly from the heart is a meaningful way to enrich the lives of others. Thanks for your story. As you encourage and inspire, you are also doing this unconscioulsy to and for yourself.
Who-gnu?! said…
Hi Linda,
I love how much my middle school students LOVE to participate in the Free site. They always ask - "Does this really work?" And, I show them the site's background and premise and that propels them...I've had some very underachiver-types come in to me on a Monday and tell me that they spent the rainy/snowy weekend accumulating thousands of grains of rice for third world countries...and, that is so cool to me!!! Thanks for spreading the word!
Anonymous said…
Hello Linda,

I like these words, "the receiver gives a good deed back by taking the gift with grace and gratitude."

This is certainly a perspective that speaks to those of us who have trouble receiving.

Thanks for a great post!

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