My parents taught me from a very young age to give back, even when nothing is expected in return. This was taught at my home church, Fountain City Presbyterian, from the time I started attending at the age of two. The ability to give something to someone or to something you care about is special and is a privilege one should not forget. This goes from giving to nonprofits, community outreach programs, and most importantly for me, tithing to the church.
The church gave so much to me at a young age. I had an extended family that cared for me, fostered my spiritual and intellectual growth, and helped teach me what it means to be a Christian man. One that cares and is understanding of others, loves people for who they are, and lives in a way that sheds light onto people and places that are utterly pitch black. It is an understatement to say that I would not be the man I am today without my church.
It is also through FCPC that I found UKirk, a place that strives for all the ideals mentioned above. College is a tough time, and most people just need a place to be accepted and loved for both their strengths and weaknesses. UKirk has been that for me and even more. It has allowed me to engage with people that I never would have met in day to day life at UT. Having a place like UKirk, a place like home, has made all the difference in my college and spiritual life.
As everyone knows however, college kids are not ‘rolling in the dough.’ I am fortunate enough to have parents that support me, a job that pays well, and a little extra cash in my pocket to do fun things and spend how I would like. But with this comes great responsibility. Do I go blow it on new sneakers, random concert tickets, and 3am trips to McDonalds on the strip? Truthfully, sometimes. But before I do any of that, I make sure to give 10% of what I have to UKirk in order to continue its mission. It has done so much for me, and I can only hope that my little contribution helps another freshman feel at home in a place so full of love and Christ. And I ask, if a college kid can make the decision to give what little money he has to UKirk, what can you give?