Posted by: Judy | December 16, 2019

Season of Giving

Give wisely.

This time of year everyone is asking for donations. This is a post I wished someone had shared with me, long ago. A few hints to help your giving reach it’s greatest potential.

Many charities are flooded this time of year and experience droughts after Christmas is over, especially charities like food banks. Summers tend to be particularly difficult for them.

Before you donate, do your research. Some charities use less than 5% of what you donate to benefit the cause they represent. A few charities donate 100%. Really. Those that operate them donate their time or have other ways of financing the running of the foundations. Two examples: SEAL Foundation and Mercury One, but you may have no interest in supporting their causes.

I donate to my church, a friend of another faith who’s a missionary, and O.U.R. Operation Underground Railroad. I drop money in the Salvation Army bucket and drop off bags of used items at Goodwill. I go to the annual pancake breakfast at the local school. I’ve donated to the local library, USO, food banks, and toy drives. I’ve a list of charities I’d like to help.

Goodwill is not a charity. It is a business. Many people complain about it, but they also don’t know what they do in the community. For one thing, they visit schools, helping students prepare for entering the workforce. They teach work habits and ethics to those many consider unemployable. I’ve purchased clothes there, and my friends have found things they were looking for. It’s also perfectly okay to not want to support them.

There are organizations like Gary Sinise’s Foundation and Tim Tebow’s. Did you know that NASCAR drivers believe in giving back to their communities and either support or create foundations?

Not sure which charities to trust? Check out Charity Navigator.

They don’t list all the charities, but they are reliable. They won’t tell you who to donate to, but they tell you how much of a percentage of your dollar will go to salaries, operations, and those who are supposed to benefit.

I love the stories of anonymous donors who pay for layaway items. I read one recently about 15 women who go to breakfast together, once a year, and each brings $100 to pay the check. I remember reading about a family who liked to go for pancakes on Christmas morning, and would bring $100 as a tip. There are Angel Trees. I remember seeing an animal shelter that kept a wish list online.

Be the change you want to see.

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