As I sit on the porch this morning drinking my coffee and watching the leaves fall from the trees my thought is one of giving. During this time of year I am usually bombarded by all the charities asking for donations. And I, like you, have to make a decision on who will get the donation. I found it interesting this week while I was watching TV. I observed all of the request for donations. In one five-minute session on TV there was a request for donations for a charity that sponsored children in foreign countries. The pictures show small sickly looking children supposedly housed in tents and the squalor of a war-torn nation. The charity asks you to give $.50 a day to change a child’s life. Then about 5 min. later there was another charity as you to give $.50 a day to change your pet’s life. This group also showed pictures of poor malnutrition and simply frightened animals. Both of these commercials were designed to tug at your heart. And try to convince you that $.50 a day would save this young child or pet from their existing horrible lives.
During the last year there has been some major natural disasters. Whether, it was a request for money for the victims of hurricane Sandy on the East Coast or request for money for typhoon victims in the Philippine Islands. Some request for charities are based on a local event. And it seems like no matter what time of year it is there some commercial on TV requesting you to send the money for a good cause.
For me is always been hard to choose a charity to donate to. There is constantly a call for money for research concerning cancer, all cancers. My family has experienced the loss of loved ones due to cancer so when the call goes out for donations we usually partake in the giving. And through all the years there is one organization that seems to respond to any disaster anywhere in the world, the Red Cross. This giant has always been there for the victims of national disasters such as a tornado or international events such as in earthquake. I believe that this charity delivers constant help whenever asked upon. This is not to say that other charities are not good, not thorough or they do not deliver the goods. But there are so many I don’t know any watchdog organizations who keep an eye on the charities.
What I think of is that each of these charities has a business side. The money that is donating has to be accounted for. Someone has to manage it and someone or board has to decide on who gets the help from the money received. Most charities do not disclose on what they do with the money received other than to say it is used for a good purpose. And looking at a certain breast cancer organization I was amazed at the amount of money paid to the officers of that organization. I mentioned this so that when you decide on what charity to give your funds to take time to go on the website and look the charitable organization. If you can find out what percentage the money received actually goes to the purpose of the charitable organization. Whether its St. Jude’s Hospital or mothers against drunk drivers, both great causes, you still need to know about how much money goes into the running of the business of the charity and how much goes to the actual purpose of the charity.
Many senior citizens are duped into sending money to what they believe is a charitable organization only to find out that the money goes into the pockets of the con men and con women working that charity. I do not know if all the money I’ve ever sent into a charitable organization actually went to the described purpose. And if you confront the people associated with these organizations, the people on the front lines truly believe and that organization. So do you become a detective and try to find out all the information about the money you have given to the different charities. I think not.
I think it just comes down to the good feeling you get when you give to your community, to your church or to a charitable organization. By giving your money, or some food, or some cloths and even your own blood; it makes you feel good. I don’t believe that’s actually being selfish, but it’s the hope that the funds actually help the cause. This action makes you feel good. I do not believe that you should give until it hurts. You should take care of yourself and your own family first hopefully, making it that you don’t become recipient rather than a donator to a charity.
There will always be people who don’t have what they need and there will always be charities asking you for donations to help those people or pets. It’s your decision where those funds should go or even where your help should go. This year I was amazed at the response to a small child’s wish to be Batman. The people of the city came out in hundreds to help that small child achieve that dream. There was a feel-good moment and I believe worth giving to and participating in. I know there will be more natural disasters and more crimes against humanity and someone will try to put together a movement to become a charity to address those needs. Whether, you drop some of your pocket change into the kettle for the Salvation Army or that you volunteer to go to the inner-city to check on the homeless or the seniors that live alone; these are acts of giving, and you will feel good in participating.
Tis the season for giving. To be honest giving goes on all year long. I would ask you to take a little time to look at the charity. Whether it’s in your time, or in money, in blood ; participate and you’ll feel good.