Generosity: A Young Married Couple’s Perspective

In December 2018, John and Jourdan Gandy adopted twins, a boy and a girl. Though their house is now considerably noisier and overrun with toys, they remain as devoted as ever to their own giving and catalyzing a new generation of givers in Chattanooga.

John attended college at the University of Florida, where he met Jourdan. After graduation, they married and made Chattanooga home. In 2016, through Jourdan’s work as the McCallie school assistant librarian the couple became acquainted with Jim and Tammy Barber and The Generosity Trust. John and Jourdan soon found the Generosity Trust to be an organization that shared their beliefs on Christian giving.

“What strikes me most about the act of generosity is that it’s a perfect parallel to what Christ did in the gospel,” says John. “I think one of the most effective ways to convey the gospel and evangelize is through being generous to others. Christ is generous to me and at the very least, I can pass on that generosity.”

Like their family, John and Jourdan have grown their giving strategy over the past 7 years. “God has narrowed our focus. We typically would support a lot of different things in a small way. One of my good friends suggested that we narrow it down to 5-6 causes and make more of a significant impact.  This has made way for a more thoughtful approach to giving,” says John. “It’s neat to be able to give with purpose and intention,” says Jourdan.

One area where John and Jourdan hope to make an impact is with The Generosity Trust’s Young-Givers Circle. “The idea behind the YGC Fund is that you have a group of people giving a relatively small amount. But through their collective generosity, they see the significant impact of their gifts.”  Through helping start the Young Givers Circle, John has made a way possible for individuals to give now, even though they are young in age and without great means. “I’ve compared it to owning a home,” says John. “A lot of times you think I’ll own a home eventually when I can. I think the act of giving is thought of this way – I’ll start being generous when I’m able.”

The mission of the Young Givers is to show that generosity is something that can and should begin as young as possible, even in high school or college. Through working at McCallie, Jourdan has seen even more ways that kids can get involved with generosity. “McCallie was big on service projects,” says Jourdan. “Seeing kids have a day dedicated to service where they go out to the community gives them an appreciation for what they have, and they often will come back with a different attitude. As a 12-year-old, you probably don’t have money to give, but you can give generously with your time by volunteering and serving in other ways.”

John and Jourdan’s recently celebrated their children’s first birthday. As an investment officer at UNUM, John appreciates how good things come through small investments compounding over time. As a result, they plan to teach their children the same beliefs and habits that were instilled in them through small ways over time. They believe it’s never too early to learn how to share God’s love with others.

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