Give Well, Give Forward

Dec 8, 2021

Lessons on Giving, From Our Creative Director
Highlights from RITI’s Monthly “INN SIGHT”

I’d like to pause during this busy time of year to say thank you! Thank you to the generous donors, the faithful volunteers, the gracious guests, the committed staff, and to all of you who take a peek at this monthly newsletter to keep up with RITI Memphis. You are the “Inn Crowd” and certainly make it the best crowd!

November marked the beginning of my seventh year with RITI, and I look forward to finding new ways to share our story with you in the year ahead. My hope is that these newsletters provide a quick insight of our daily life for our busy supporters and also help shed light on the lessons we learn and hope to share regarding the daily struggles and needs of those experiencing homelessness in Memphis. Feel free to share ideas of what you hope to hear from RITI in 2022 by emailing

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One of the first lessons I learned with RITI was about giving well. I learned that people are eager to give and to know they are giving to a good cause. I also quickly learned the importance of giving with intention and the difference between hospitality and a hand-out.

Working with RITI guests and volunteers has taught me how to give well and to consider the needs of an individual or organization before dropping off the contents of my closet-cleanout or yard sale leftovers. Those personal lessons have shaped how RITI requests both monetary and in-kind donations.

During the holidays, many organizations collect toys and gifts to give to those in need. Some even personalize those lists so that a child receives the special item they most want that year. RITI wanted to take it a step further. Guided by our core values, we want our guests to feel empowered and have a sense of dignity – even through the ways our donors support them.

So, this holiday season we’ve put together a campaign that allows donors the opportunity to give monetary donations. Those donations purchase gift cards we will give equally to the parents in the Family Inn. Volunteers and staff will host a Parents’ Day Out party, providing childcare and gift-making crafts for the children and transportation for the parents to do some holiday shopping with their gift cards!

When 7 year old Erika opens her gift Christmas morning, she’ll know it came from her mom, and Mom will have the same joy of giving that we feel in our own homes this holiday.

When we apply that Golden Rule of treating others the way we’d like to be treated to even the manner in which we give, we learn a deep lesson in hospitality. We give more than a dollars. We give a gift that keeps giving. We give dignity. We give joy.

I encourage you to give and give often. Give from the deepest parts of yourself. Give generously. Give sacrificially. Give well. And may your giving turn your heart evermore toward loving your neighbor.


Whitney Brown
Creative Director


Thank you to the following groups who have made RITI feel like home for the holidays!

  • Beth Sholom Synagogue provided the Thanksgiving meal.
  • Olivet Fellowship Baptist Church, Circle of Faith, Heartsong United Methodist Church, and Bartlett United Methodist Church also provided meals on campus.
  • Germantown United Methodist Church’s Grace Circle returned to change their fall decorations to a Winter Wonderland of holiday cheer.
  • UTHSC’s Memphis Street Health students returned to have a Christmas party with the Family Inn.
  • Our Winter Host Congregations continue to serve through the coldest nights of the year. We’re grateful for their support, which allows us to provide emergency shelter seven nights a week!

Give Well

Give Forward with a Donation to Room in the Inn