This morning I’m thinking about the economy (not worrying about it, see my anti-resolutions in the previous post) and how it affects charities. I’ve heard recently that charities are seeing a big drop off in their giving so I wanted to encourage my readers NOT to stop giving and maybe to find some new ways to give. Lots of people focus on this during the Thanksgiving/Christmas seasons so lets don’t let it slack off in the new year.
I think we should all start with local charities — your church and people in need around you. But we also need to look worldwide. Even if we’re in a deep recession we still have a lot more than most of the people in the world.
Here are some ideas:
*Work for your charity. Before I started working again I didn’t have much money to give away, so L & I went down to the local pregnancy crisis center & asked how we could help. They told us they didn’t have anyone to clean their building. So we went in once a week, spent about an hour, and cleaned their building. Not glamorous, but saved them money, and didn’t cost us any.
*If you don’t have time to do that, donate one hour’s pay a week/month/one time to a cause. I’ve recently done that with some friends that are going on missions trips. I like doing it this way, ’cause at work I keep telling myself, “This hour I’m working for Mr. XXX.” Makes the work a little easier. Or, if you sell on Etsy or Ebay give all the proceeds from a certain item.
*Here’s a fun one that I heard about last week – DareDealer.com. At first I didn’t really think too much of this idea. Then I thought about all the times we’ve told our youth group or choir, “If you _________, then I’ll _____________.” Fill in the blanks with “get 50 in choir,” “raise $X for missions,” “read XX pages,” “shave my head,” “swallow a goldfish,” “let you dunk me in green slime.” (Yes, Glenn has shaved his head and been dunked in green slime.) The idea of this website is that you’ll do something daring if people donate enough money to your charity. You get to choose the charity. It’s a new website but I plan to go back and look again. The creator has uploaded one video. If he collects enough donations he will… wait, I’ll let you find out for yourself. 🙂 100% of his donations go to the National Association of Mental Health. Please let me know if you do this, I’d love to go see your video. And I may even make a donation! Makes giving a little more fun.
*”Just One Goat Can Save The World” – Have someone in your family who doesn’t ‘need’ anything but you still want to give them something for their birthday? How about donating a goat to a family in a third-world country as a gift to them. This sounds so fun — Take a look at Heifer.org. You can buy a heifer for $500 (or a share for $50), a share in a goat for $10, or a whole flock of chickens, ducks, or geese for $20!
*If you don’t have money to give, give something else. In December one of my coworker’s daughter’s softball teams was collecting coats to donate to a local shelter. I bet everyone reading this has a coat they never wear, or shoes, or other clothing. Pack ’em up and give ’em to someone who needs them. Goodwill, Salvation Army, an old computer to a missionary, a coat to that homeless person you see on the way to work, etc, etc, etc.
*Cook or clean house for an older person or someone who’s sick & can’t clean for themselves. Babysit for a family who can’t afford a babysitter. Take care of children who’s older sibling has been in the hospital through the holiday season — take them to a movie, out to eat, or skating.
I hope this helps you ‘think outside the box’ a little when it comes to giving. If you can, keep giving financially, give more, or start giving if you haven’t before. If the economy is affecting you in a bad way already, there are still lots of other non-monetary ways that you can give & help others.
I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger, and you invited Me in,
naked, and you clothed Me;
I was sick, and you visited Me;
I was in prison, and you came to Me…
…to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.