In Brief—The holiday season is not the only time in the year to contribute to a worthy cause designed to make life better for those less fortunate.
Giving is More Powerful than Prayer (Gandhi)—
A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that we give to a worthy cause rather than spend the money on something that will wind up unused. There are many people in the world who do not have the bounty that we enjoy. They may be young or old, able or disabled, homeless, refugee or abused. One thing they all have in common is that they are in need.
As I write this, it is Black Friday when people elbow one another aside to buy a “thing” at supposed reduced prices. Spend, spend, spend. Meanwhile, many humans live on pennies per day or eat out of dumpsters. Those are the ones who need us to remember and share our bounty, so they can live for a better day,
As I write this, thousands of people flee death and violence in the hope that tomorrow will be a better day. They live in hovels or tents or beside the road or risk their lives in leaky boats. They put themselves in the hands of heartless “coyotes” to escape violence in their native countries. Whether refugees from across the ocean or south of America’s border, they seek the promise of safety. Whether they have a different color of skin or live in a run-down building, they need our helping hand.
That’s what this is about. It doesn’t make any difference what the calendar says, let’s open our wallets and our hearts to make their lives a bit easier.
What You Can Do—
To make sure that your charitable giving goes to those in need, I suggest you do the following: into your browser type the name of the organization to which you want to give, follow that name with the words “administrative costs, donations” and then CLICK on “Charity Navigator Rating” to see where the organization stands.
You may want your donation to go to a small or unlisted organization. I suggest you ask the organization for a statement of their administrative costs. The important thing is to make sure your donation goes to those in need rather than into some greedy organizer’s pocket.
The homeless are looking for a safe roof over their heads and a hot meal. There are reliable organizations that can assist them. The financially pressed and needy folks need a place to live, decent food and a job. You can’t give them that, but several charitable organizations can provide assistance. Refugees have enormous needs, too. Look for the best and make a donation rather than spending your hard-earned money for a “thing” that may go unused.
Nicholas Kristof of the Times has suggested that donations be made to some charities that he believes are worthy. Mine-sniffing rats may sound frivolous, but they save human lives. Readers may want to consider Kristof’s choices.
You might be interested in giving the gift of reading to a child as suggested by Frank Bruni of the Times. Reading can be the difference between failure and success. It can change a child’s life. Check it out.
Among the comments from readers of the earlier piece was that the contribution need not be in terms of a monetary contribution but could be the donation of personal time to a worthy cause such as working at a homeless shelter. That is good, but volunteering one’s time at a profit-making corporation or an arm of government is not contributing to a worthy cause. Neither is dropping money in the church’s collection basket on the sabbath. Instead, make that contribution to people who are in need.
The point of this piece is that your giving can be a year ‘round practice. The holiday season is a good time to give. Giving all year is better yet. Make giving to a worthy cause a regular practice.