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The Gift of Time: the most Thoughtful Gift You Can Give

Updated on December 3, 2011
Cape Cod Getaway.
Cape Cod Getaway.

The purest sacrifice is time. You have no opportunity to make more time. Therefore, it is a precious gift. Giving time to a charitable cause will not get you a tax deduction that will let you deduct the time back from your form 1040A. Giving of your time, therefore, is the most truly generous gift you can give.

The joy of giving is your return on the investment of your time. At the end of June I will be riding my bicycle in a 175-mile fundraising event for the MS Society. For the event I am raising funds to help people living with MS and to fund research toward finding a cure. At the event I'll bike for two days and one hundred seventy-five miles from Quincy to Provincetown to help increase awareness of MS. As I do these things, I think of my friends who are living with Multiple Sclerosis, and how I am doing what I can to help. A person living with MS always speaks at dinner at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy the night after the first leg of the trip, thanking the cyclists for their efforts. All year I anticipate the wonderful feeling I get from this event.

Generally speaking, I find that the times I spend helping someone else or making my family's Jewish experience more satisfying are some of the most enjoyable and memorable times of my life, giving meaning to the phrase, ‘time well spent.'

Me on a bike.
Me on a bike.


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    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Jama, I was trying to remember the disease that was Jerry Lewis' cause.

      Thanks also for that bit of info about aspartame. I never did trust that stuff!

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Two friends of mine have MS. One is totally bedridden and the other isn't - yet.  I commend your efforts, Tom, to help find a cure, or at least a way to stop the progress, of this debilitating disease. 

      btw, aspartame poisoning from diet drinks containing that sugar substitute has been misdiagnosed as MS.  Eliminating aspartame from the diet eliminates the symptoms.

      Also, the Jerry Lewis raises money for MD (muscular dystrophy), not MS.  Just wanted to clear that up.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      Thanks, Whikat! This is one of the nicest comments I ever received. I will do my best to honor you and your family with hard work for the MS Society.

    • profile image

      Whikat 9 years ago

      Thank you Tom for the link to get here. I have been to your site and read your story. It is not often that I get to interact with true everyday heroes such as yourself. My family thanks you for this ride as well as I am sure so many others. I hope the ride goes well and the weather be kind to you. I have bookmarked your sites so I can stay posted.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Blondepoet. The tour is sponsored by the MS Society. Volunteers man rest stops every 20 or 30 Km along the way complete with "handy houses" and snacks. The 100 miles will be a challenge. It has been a long time since I rode 100 miles (about 220 Km) in a day. I had to take last week off from training because I had a bad cold, but if I log 1200 training miles as I still hope to do, I should have little problem. I just hope I arrive in Bourne in time for dinner!

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 9 years ago from australia

      Were you sponsored ? 175miles is a long way Tom you must be very fit. You are such a kind,spirit with a great heart.x0x0

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      Thanks Patricia! That's right. Excellent return on investment.

    • Patricia Costanzo profile image

      Patricia Costanzo 9 years ago from Behind the Redwood Curtain

      Its seems so giving and honorable of you to do this ride, but I'm willing to bet the joy you receive from this gift of your time is tenfold. :) Your a good egg Tom.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      Hi Amanda,

      One of my friends has lived with MS for over 20 years. Although his wife left him and he has been gradually losing mobility, he continues to play piano and enjoy life. He has always been conscious of eating good, natural food. My other friend with MS is the father of 5 girls. He has always been a runner and after a few years with the disease is faring well.

      I think there are two imperatives to an issue like MS. The first is dealing with the cause and treatment, which I leave to professionals. The second is supporting those who live daily with the disease. It is this second imperative to which I lend my small efforts.

      Thanks again, Amanda!

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 9 years ago from UK

      I have two friends with MS. One was diagnosed 16 years ago, yet still runs and climbs mountains. The other was diagnosed five years ago, and is losing her mobility with scary rapidity. The main difference between them is their diets and treatments. The incredibly fit, mountaineering lady eats as much organic, home prepared food as possible and uses homeopathic remedies almost exclusively, whilst the other has a regular Western diet and has opted for conventional medical care. The difference may be co-incedental. I hope I never have to find out for myself!

      You're a good man to raise money in this way Tom, and it's a worthy cause. Good luck with all your endeavours.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      Thanks very much, Cris. It's like walking a tightrope, trying to be a good person and "The Chief." They say there are just not enough hours in a day and they are correct.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      You are a good man, Tom Rubenoff (I can't tell from the avatar! LOL)

      Indeed, time waits for no man. When it passes it's gone forever. So make hay while you have it in your hands. I hope your tribe thrives and conquer the earth! :D

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      Thank you so much, G-Ma! The whole thing happens because of volunteers. They are a great inspiration to stand up and be counted.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      "Do unto to other's as you would have then do unto you" You are wonderful...G-Ma :O) Hugs

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Tatjana and Candie. Like the new Avatar, Candie!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 9 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      This is a great "call to action". This area has one of the highest per capita (i believe) of MS in the country. I personally know 12 people within 10 miles that have it. One is a client, my age, that now has only 40% of her head movement, yet she runs her care giver schedule, runs her husband's business and travel schedule and you will never, ever, ever hear her say "woe is me" ever. She is more than an inspiration to me, more than a client to me, she is my friend. So ride on! This is a good thing you're doing.. and it's not like you're "tooting your own horn" either. Thank you, again.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

      Tatjana-Mihaela 9 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thumbs up, Tom, you are very inspiring!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      The MS Society funds research toward a cure and helps people living with MS in their daily lives. For more information about MS, please visit,

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 9 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      I appreciate your effort also,and yet I can't help remembering that old saying; "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"

      The reason I say that ,I overheard a conversation between two women about  a fast food business giving away food that was left at the end of the day to people who were living in a homeless shelter. The fast food place ended up getting sued by someone who got sick after eating some food they gave away. I don't know how long they have been giving food away but,they no longer give food away.I suppose it's thrown away instead.

      Which reminds me of another biblical reference on the same topic;

      "If,you give a man a fish you feed him for a day if you teach nim how to fish you feed him for a lifetime".

      I think we would be better stewards of life if we put more thought into what we think is for the greatest good.

      When I read this hub about M.S. it makes me think back about all the money that has been raised by the well known comedian Jerry Lewis with his telethon. I don't know how much progress has been made on curing M.S. even though I do know someone who's wife has it. My view on the subject of why people get M.S. is it's related to genetic tendency and diet. Stem cell research is the most likely path for research now,but I can't help but wonder if there isn't an easier answer such as diet. Like eating foods without chemicals in or on them such as organic and staying away from artificial sweeteners of any kind exept stevia ,the only plant based natural sweetener,that's not chemically altered like all the other sugar replacements.  

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Jeanine!

    • profile image

      Jeanine 9 years ago

      You're wonderful! Giving IS the answer to happiness.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      Thank you Gypsy Willow

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 9 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Great work, Enjoy the ride! x

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 9 years ago from United States

      I know what you mean. One time I was walking with my umbrella in the rain and I passed a homeless guy sitting on the subway steps just getting soaked. So I gave him my umbrella and kept walking. The, "Hey, thanks!" he shouted after me was music to my ears. I'm glad that some of the money I raise will go to help or attempt to help your cousin in some way. That's what I do it for.

    • feeweewv profile image

      feeweewv 9 years ago from Between A Dream And Reality

      You are right... time spent on other is time well spent. It is the time that you spend on others that doesn't get recognized or appreciated that makes you feel wasted. My cousin with MS thanks you for your ride.


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