A Hand Up Not a Hand Out

In thinking about how we can make a difference in other people's lives, it is important to know the difference between giving a hand up and giving a hand out. A Hand Up: this is when you use the blessings and abilities you have been bestowed with in life (or have had the opportunity to develop) to reach out an arm to another person, hopefully lifting them up or helping them lift themselves up. The key point here being that somehow the person ends up better than they were before. This is a pay-it-forward type of mentality in which we can all understand the ways we can use what we have to help someone else. A Hand Out: this usually involves giving away something of material value that, while it can definitely provide some relief, is usually temporary and does not help someone out of a dire situation or circumstances   Some examples of giving a hand up versus giving a hand out are teaching someone a skill, mentoring someone, giving someone a job opportunity, listening to someone, using your privilege to advocate for someone. One great example of giving a hand up is the Peace of Thread organization featured in my upcoming book project. This group sells high-quality, one-of-a-kind purses and accessories made by refugee women. Further, one can open a chapter in their town or city if they see the need for it. Learn more about this organization in my upcoming book. More details to be announced soon! Another example of giving a hand up is Love Beyond Walls, a non-profit dedicated to getting people experiencing homelessness off of the street. Not only do they provide services to make this possible, they also provide a space and community for people to discuss their experiences. With a philosophy to discern, imagine, collaborate, move and impact, this organization is a great exampling of not simply giving handouts but reaching to give a hand up.